As Parliament Gears Up For Monsoon Session Amid COVID-19, Guidelines Issued

 - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: As amid the COVID-19 pandemic the Parliament is gearing up for monsoon session, the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Friday issued guidelines on holding meetings of parliamentary standing committees.

 

The monsoon session is likely to be held on August-end or September as Coronavirus cases have touched a new high of 20,000 cases in India each day.

In its guidelines, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said, "With further relaxations in the lockdown made with effect from July 1, the sittings of the parliamentary committees can now be held while observing some restrictions."

However, chairpersons of various panels had requested both Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu for holding virtual meetings, but were not granted permission.

The the Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued guidelines which are as follows:

  • Physical presence of members in Parliament House will be granted with some restrictions.
  • Social distancing norm of six feet to be followed.
  • Arrangements for sanitiser at the entrance of the committee room.
  • No printed material should be used for the purpose of sitting and all documents related to the sitting should be sent to the members in soft form.
  • Ministry/department appearing for the evidence before the panel is advised against bringing any material, including annual reports or bags for the members.
  • Ministry/Departments appearing before the committee may be advised to restrict the number of officials to a maximum of five
  • In case a ministry is compelled to bring more officials, arrangements may be made for their sitting in the lobby
  • Restricted entry of its officials for verbatim recording of the standing committees meetings rather make arrangements for audio recording of the meetings.

Parliament stopped functioning on March 23 after the budget session was adjourned sine die prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed functioning this week with a meeting of the Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Parliament Annexe.

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