Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi has said that he has informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and opined of doing away with Winter Session of the Parliament.
The Minister said this in a letter dated December 14, 2020, addressed to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who on December 3 wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for convening a short winter session of Parliament.
“You are aware that the Monsoon Session of Parliament was slightly delayed, and was held in September 2020 due to an extraordinary situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, following all precautionary protocols under the standard guidelines making special logistical arrangments and with active cooperation of Members of Parliament from across party lines. As a result, the session proved to be one of the most productive sessions of Parliament with 27 Bills passed by both Houses in 10 continuous sittings,” the Minister said in his letter.
He said that the winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of the 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,” he said.
The Minister said that the government is willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earliest.
“It would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
“Lastly, I deeply appreciate your concerns as a sincere Parliamentarian, and seek your active cooperation for the smooth functioning of the next session of Parliament,” he added.
In a letter to the Speaker on December 3, Chowdhury, who is the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said a short winter session may be convened taking all precautions against COVID-19. (ANI)