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No winter session of parliament this year due to Covid-19: Govt

PARLIAMENT


There will be no Winter Session of Parliament this year due to the pandemic, the government has informed. In a letter to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the government is “willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earlier”.

“It would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January, 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic,” Joshi told Chowdhury.

 

Joshi said that he had held discussions with leaders of all parties and the consensus was not to call a session due to pandemic.

“Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particulary in Delhi. At present, we are in the middle of December and a Covid vaccine is expected very soon. In this regard, I have informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with the Winter session,” Joshi said.

In September, the Monsoon session was cut short after many MPs tested positive for coronavirus. As many as 19 Lok Sabha MPs and eight Rajya Sabha MPs had tested positive.

Adhir Ranjan had earlier urged Speaker Om Birla to convene a short Winter Session to discuss several issues including the farmers’ agitation and preparation of COVID-19 vaccine. In a letter to Birla, Chowdhury, also the West Bengal Congress chief, said that the Winter Session be convened with all the COVID-19 protocols in place to help the people understand the important issues the country is facing at present.

“There are a number of very important issues that the nation is facing in present times. The most notable among them are the ongoing farmers’ agitation and the status/preparation of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he had written in a letter to Birla.

The Winter Session usually starts from the last week of November or the first week of December, while the Budget Session starts from the last week of January and the Union Budget is tabled on February 1.