18-Day Monsoon Session Of Parliament Begins Today Amid Covid: 10 Points


    18-Day Monsoon Session Of Parliament Begins Today Amid Covid: 10 Points

    The parliament will function seven days a week during this session.

    New Delhi:
    The 18-day monsoon session of parliament that begins today amid unprecedented safety measures for coronavirus, will have 18 bills and two financial items to discuss, the government said after a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on Sunday afternoon. The customary all-party meeting of the government was not held this time because of the unprecedented situation due to the coronavirus outbreak, the government has said. Owing to the curtailed timings – four-hour sessions for each house each day – parliament will function seven days a week. The Zero Hour has been cut down to half and the Question Hour has been scrapped, which has hugely upset the opposition.

    1. The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 AM to 1 PM, the Lok Sabha for 3 PM to 7 PM. Only on the first day, the Lok Sabha will meet in the morning session. Instead of the Question Hour, un-starred questions will be laid on the table, the government has said.

    2. The short hours and the absence of a Question Hour had upset the opposition. “This government continues to mock parliament. They have cancelled Question Hour, slashed Zero Hour by half, want to rush bills without any scrutiny and create an ordinance raj like never seen before in the last 70 years. The world and our glorious nation must know, this is very dangerous for democracy,” Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien tweeted.

    3. There will be 11 bills replacing a slew of ordinances issued since March, when parliament was adjourned indefinitely in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Days later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the countrywide lockdown.

    4. The bills that will replace ordinances include the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, one of regulation of support prices, one on Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the new rule on taxation and the salaries and allowances of MPs and ministers.

    5. The new bills that are to be brought in include three on labour laws that concern provident fund, insurance, maternity benefits, industrial disputes and trade unions and industrial safety and welfare laws.

    6. The session, the first since the outbreak of coronavirus, will be held amid huge safety measures at the parliament building complex. The measures include seating MPs in a staggered way in chambers of both Houses, as well as galleries to maintain physical distancing, introduction of mobile app for registering of their attendance and seats separated with poly-carbon sheets in the House.

    7. At least seven union ministers have contracted the disease and two dozen lawmakers are recovering from it. An MP and several MLAS have died. Around 200 of the 785 MPs are above the age of 65 years, the population vulnerable to coronavirus.

    8. Ahead of the session, all members were requested to get themselves tested for COVID-19 and one of them tested positive. “Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms,” tweeted the BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar.

    9. Union Minister Amit Shah, who recently recovered from coronavirus, was admitted at Delhi’s prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday night. The hospital said it was a complete medical checkup ahead of parliament’s monsoon session.

    10. Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not attend the first part of parliament’s monsoon session as she has left the national capital for her annual check-up abroad. While Mrs Gandhi will remain out of the country for at least two weeks, her son, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who is accompanying her, is expected to return after a few days.



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