Parliament’s Monsoon Session may be curtailed due to Covid-19 threat

The Monsoon Session started on September 14 and was set to conclude on October 1. But, it may close by middle of next week, top sources with inside information claimed.

Written by September 19, 2020 21:55
17 Lok Sabha MPs test positive for Covid-19 on first day of Parliament’s monsoon session

New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament is likely to be curtailed and may wind up by next week as against October 1, due to the Covid-19 pandemic threat, official sources said on Saturday.

Almost all political parties are said to be in favour of cutting short the duration of Monsoon Session as about 2 dozen lawmakers were tested Covid-19 positive just before the beginning of session.

At a meeting of the business advisory committee of Lok Sabha, which has floor leaders of all parties besides government representatives and is chaired by the Speaker, most political parties gave their opinion towards closing the current session early.

After some Members of Parliament, including Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel, tested positive for COVID-19 during the session, some opposition parties had conveyed to the government that conducting the full 18-day session could be a risky affair, sources said.

The Monsoon Session started on September 14 and was set to conclude on October 1. But, it may close by middle of next week, top sources with inside information claimed.

Parliament starts thermal screening of visitors amid coronavirus scare

A final decision will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

The Lok Sabha has so far passed three Bills to replace agriculture sector related ordinances. Also, both the Houses have cleared a bill to replace an ordinance for cutting by 30 per cent the salaries of MPs to ramp up funds in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the parliament complex, reporters and parliamentary staff entering the premises now have to undergo the rapid antigen test mandatorily on a daily basis, according to a new protocol put in place.

A member of Parliament can undergo the RT-PCR test as many times he or she likes.

Since the result of the much reliable RT-PCR test takes time, the antigen test has been made mandatory on a daily basis.

The Budget Session was short-terminated in March after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.