The Monsoon Session of Parliament will begin on September 14 and last till October 1, the Centre said on Monday. The end of the session will be “subject to exigencies of business”, and the session would be conducted with strict physical distancing norms in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Parliament was adjourned, with no appointed date for resumption, in March just before a nationwide lockdown began to contain the pandemic.
President Ram Nath Kovind will convene the Lok Sabha at 9 am on September 14, PTI reported. The Rajya Sabha will meet at a different time on the same day, as it has been decided to stagger the sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
The government has passed 11 ordinances in the past five months, which will require parliamentary approval. One of these is the “One Nation One Market” ordinance for farmers, about which the Congress has some reservations. There will be ordinances on salaries and allowances of MPs, the epidemic disease ordinance regarding safeguarding health workers and doctors, the essential commodities ordinance, a taxation ordinance and one on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
On August 28, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said MPs will be requested to get themselves tested for the coronavirus at least 72 hours before the Monsoon Session and the seating arrangements would be based on the health ministry’s guidelines.
Besides MPs, all those who are expected to enter the Parliament premises, including officials from ministries, representatives from the media and staff of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, will get tested for the infection, Birla said. Arrangements have made for zero-touch security checks during the session and if necessary random tests can also be conducted, the Speaker said.
Each House is likely to convene for only four hours per day – with one session in the morning and another in the evening. Seats will also be earmarked for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leaders of the House and the Opposition.