With no respite in the rising COVID-19 cases across the country, the Centre has taken a cautious approach and is likely to decide against holding the Parliament’s winter session this year. Sources in the government stated that currently, deliberations are on the decision to not hold the winter session. Whether to club the winter session and budget session or to just to hold the budget session directly next year is also under consideration, sources added.

The secretariats of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have not begun preparing for the session yet. “The members are supposed to be informed 15 days in advance so that if there is a question hour, they can send in their questions in advance,” stated the source.

The argument, to not hold the winter session this year has been given due to a rise in the number of cases. The cautious approach is needed as Parliament members come in close contact with officials, people and other members and are especially vulnerable to the infection, despite COVID-19 safety protocols being followed at Parliament House.

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The winter session takes place in mid-November and continues till mid-December. However, the situation of COVID-19 spread in the national capital is making the government reluctant in having the session on time.

“During the monsoon session, we had cases reaching 2,000 to 3,000, not more than that and yet we had to curtail the session. Now, the tally stands at 7,000 and above. The government work will not be hampered,” stated the source.

“There were more than 30 MPs who were tested positive for COVID-19 during and at the beginning of the monsoon session. We ensured routine COVID tests to check anyone with infection,” stated the source. The sources claim that the next Parliament session, budget session, is likely to be called at the end of January 2021.

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