Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said that the secretariat is ready to hold the Winter session of Parliament and that the dates are decided by the government. The Monsoon session was held amid the Covid-19 pandemic in September. According to a PTI report, the Parliament standing committees have also been meeting regularly.
"The Lok Sabha secretariat is prepared to hold the parliament session. As far as dates are concerned, it is decided by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs," Birla told reporters. 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.
The Monsoon session began from September 14 and was cut short by eight days and concluded on September 24. Despite elaborate arrangements, many MPs and Parliament staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
The Winter session of Parliament usually starts from the last week of November or the first week of December. Earlier, there were reports that government was contemplating a single extended session of Parliament instead of separate winter and budget sessions.
The Budget session starts from the last week of January and the Union Budget is tabled on February 1.
The Monsoon session saw several first-time measures such as staggered sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate members while following physical distancing norms were implemented during the monsoon session.
The Budget session was also curtailed earlier this year amid the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha Secretary General PDT Acharya said it is a convention to hold three sessions of parliament in a year. As per the Constitution, there should not be a gap of six months or more between two sessions.
“If government clubs two sessions of parliament and holds only two sessions this year, then it will not be a violation of any rule,” Acharya said.
Delhi is witnessing a fresh wave of coronavirus cases post-Diwali festivities. The city saw over 100 deaths for the third day in a row on Sunday. The rise in cases prompted the government to announce fresh measures to flatten the curve.