In a big development on Thursday, it was announced that the Budget Session of Parliament will be held in two parts beginning from January 29. While President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses of Parliament on January 29, the Union Budget will be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The first part of the Budget session will culminate on February 15.
On the other hand, the second part of the session shall be held from March 8 to April 8. As the threat of COVID-19 spread still persists, appropriate protocols will be followed. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will function for 4 hours each on working days. Moreover, Question Hour which was scrapped in the Monsoon session will make a comeback in this session of Parliament. The opposition is likely to corner the treasury benches on issues such as the LAC standoff, farm laws and the COVID-19 situation.
In order to enable the Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries/Departments and prepare their Reports, the House will adjourn on 15th February to meet again on 8th March: Lok Sabha Secretariat https://t.co/m5xbnraBDl— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2021
Delayed because of the novel coronavirus crisis, the Monsoon Session of Parliament was proposed to be held from September 14 to October 1 without any weekend break. Moreover, COVID-19 precaution measures such as digitalization of operations, physical distancing and regular sanitization were undertaken. While the session was adjourned sine dine on September 23 itself owing to the rise in cases among MPs, Union Ministers and Parliament staff, a total of 25 bills including the farm reform legislation were passed. On the other hand, the Winter Session was annulled in 2020.
In a letter written to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on December 14, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi pointed out that the winter months were crucial in managing the pandemic in view of the spurt in Delhi's COVID-19 cases. He wrote, "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 concern over the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with winter session". At the same time, he added that the Centre is willing to commence the Budget session in January 2021 itself. Thereafter, the Union Minister sought Chowdhury's cooperation for the smooth functioning of the next session of Parliament.