Budget session: Both Houses to convene in shifts

Both the Houses will function in two different shifts in a day during the coming Budget Session of Parliament, it was decided on Monday, as the country continues to remain in grip of the third wave of Covid-19 infections. The budget session begins on January 31.

The protocols will be similar to the ones followed during the Monsoon Session of Parliament last year. Held in September 2020, the monsoon session was the first time parliamentary proceedings were held under strict Covid-19 protocol. The Rajya Sabha met in the first half of the day and the Lok Sabha during the second half. Members were seated in both the chambers to ensure social distancing. Similarly, this time around, the Upper House will convene in the morning and the Lok Sabha in the afternoon, a bulletin issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said on Monday.

On the opening day of the Budget session, lawmakers will be seated in the Central Hall, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Chambers, and the galleries for the customary President’s address to a joint sitting of both the Houses. The Union Budget will be presented on February 1. From February 2, the Rajya Sabha will meet from either 9am to 2pm or 10 am to 3 pm, sources aware of the matter said. The Lok Sabha will sit from 4 pm to 9 pm.

“During sittings of Lok Sabha from January 31 to February 11, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Chambers and their galleries will be used for sitting of Members in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic,” the bulletin said, adding that from February 2 to 11, the timing of Lok Sabha will be from 4 pm to 9 pm.

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