In a new move, food subsidy at Parliament canteen has been completely removed, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announced on Tuesday. The Lok Sabha informed this as he was addressing media ahead of the forthcoming Budget session of the Parliament. Om Birla informed about the time schedule of how Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will function in the upcoming session.
"Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Budget Session will commence from January 29. Rajya Sabha will sit from 9 am to 2 pm and Lok Sabha will sit be from 4 pm to 9 p m. Zero Hour and Question Hour will be held. MPs have been requested to undergo RT-PCR test," Om Birla said.
Besides this, Om Birla also mentioned that all necessary arrangements will be made as per the Covid-19 protocols during the forthcoming Budget Session.
Speaking on the occasion, Birla observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the functioning of Parliaments across the world.
He said that even during the pandemic, some important legislative businesses were transacted by the Lok Sabha, including the enactment of appropriate laws for the protection of health workers serving the public during this challenging time.
The proceedings of the House were conducted in compliance with all corona-related safety protocols and health safety was ensured for everyone working in the Parliament House Complex.
Birla informed that the increased use of ICT tools like e-Parliament and e-Office in the functioning of Parliament has served to provide a conducive environment to the Members of Parliament in the effective discharge of their responsibilities.
He expressed the view that while on the one hand ICT technologies have supported the members by providing virtual platforms, on the other hand, they have helped to make the Parliament's working more transparent, inclusive, and accountable. This has resulted in the creation of more opportunities for MPs and citizens to engage in parliamentary work.
Birla further stressed that the advantages created by ICT should reach all sections of society in an equitable manner and only then will the country and society be able to receive its total benefits.
(With inputs from IANS)