Amid COVID-19 Monsoon Session Of Parliament Begins

 - Sakshi Post

Amid COVID-19 fear and with excessive caution, the Monsoon session of the Parliament began on Monday (Sep 14). The 18-day session has many firsts, including sitting of the two Houses in shifts without any off day, entry only to those having a negative COVID-19 report and compulsory wearing of masks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his remarks to the media before the commencement of Parliament's monsoon session noted, in an apparent reference to the ongoing border row with China in Ladakh, that Indian soldiers are bravely discharging their duties while standing guard in difficult hilly terrain with snowfall expected in the coming days and weeks.

He said that he is hopeful that the MPs will unanimously send a strong message that the country is standing solidly behind soldiers guarding India's borders.

The PM added, “Parliament session being held under special circumstances and MPs have chosen the path of duty amid the Coronavirus pandemic.” He said all safety precautions have been taken and that “there can be no "dhilai" (laxity) till a vaccine is found for the virus.”

This time the on day one of the highest-ever number of obituary references, a total of 34 will be taken up by the two Houses. While there are 19 listed in the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha will take up 15. Except for ex-President Pranab Mukherjee and noted vocalist Pandit Jasraj, there are three sitting members, 14 ex-members of Rajya Sabha and one sitting member and 12 ex-members of Rajya Sabha.

There are 11 Bills that will replace the ordinance issued after March 23 which will be brought in for passing. They are: The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Prices Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Insolvency & Bankruptcy (Second) Amendment Bill, 2020, The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Salary and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Salary, Allowances, and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Precautions that are taken against COVID-19:

  • The measures include seating MPs in a staggered way in chambers of both Houses, as well as galleries to maintain physical distancing, the introduction of mobile app for registering of their attendance and seats separated with poly-carbon sheets in the House.
  • Over 4,000 people including MPs and staff have been tested for COVID-19
  • Most parliamentary operations have been digitalized, entire premises sanitised and doors made touch-free.
  • The first-of-its-kind Monsoon Session will see Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sitting in two different shifts. Barring on the first day, Rajya Sabha will
  • convene in morning shift from 9 am till 1 pm, and Lok Sabha in evening shift from 3 pm to 7 pm.
  • In between the two shifts, the entire complex will be sanitised.
  • Entry in the premises will be allowed only on production of a COVID-19 negative report
  • Instead of the Question Hour, only written questions and answers will be allowed
  • Air of air conditioners will be exchanged six times every day to avoid any possible infection.
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