No Winter Session this year; Budget Session in January: Centre turns down Congress’ request citing Covid-19

By: |
December 15, 2020 11:16 AM

In the first week of December, Chowdhury had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking early commencement of the Winter Session to discuss the Covid-19 situation, farmers and economic issues in the country.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs decides the dates of the session and the government discuss with opposition parties as well, the Lok Sabha Speaker said.No Winter Session this year due to Covid-19

The Centre will not hold the Winter Session of Parliament due to the coronavirus pandemic but it is willing to call the Budget Session at the earliest in January, The Indian Express reported, citing a letter exchange between Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

In the first week of December, Chowdhury had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking early commencement of the Winter Session to discuss the Covid-19 situation, farmers and economic issues in the country. Following this, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister informally contacted leaders of various parties. The minister said that the leaders he consulted were not in favour of the session due to Covid-19.

In a letter to Chowdhury, Pralhad Joshi said that the government is willing to have the next session at the “earliest”, and that it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session in January. He further stated that the Monsoon Session was slightly delayed, and was held in September due to extraordinary situations arising out of Covid-19, following all precautionary protocols.

The minister further wrote that the winter months are crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly 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 their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with Winter Session,” Joshi was quoted as saying by IE.

Joshi said that the government is willing to have the next session at the earliest and “it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January, 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic”.

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