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Budget Session To Be Held Under Covid Protocol, Different Timings For Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: To enforce Covid distancing standards during the Budget Session commencing January 31, the two Houses of Parliament will convene separately for five hours each – Rajya Sabha in the first half and Lok Sabha in the second half.

Lok Sabha will assemble at 11 a.m. on February 1 to hear the Union Budget, then from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. from February 2 to February 11, when the session will adjourn, PTI reported.

In light of the COVID-19 induced limitations, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers and galleries would be utilised for member seating during Lower House of Parliament sittings, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin.

While Rajya Sabha’s precise schedules are yet to be publicly announced, news agency PTI reported sources as saying that the Upper House of Parliament might convene from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A final decision on scheduling has yet to be made because Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has tested COVID positive and is under quarantine in Hyderabad.

The budget session will commence on January 31 with President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech to both Houses of Parliament.

The second session will run from March 14 to April 8. However, the schedules of the sittings for Part II of the session are not yet known.

The Monsoon Session of 2020 was the first full session held under the Covid protocol, with the Rajya Sabha meeting in the morning and Lok Sabha convening in the afternoon. A similar procedure was used for the first half of the 2021 Budget Session.

Last year, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha returned to normal times for the second half of the Budget Session, as well as the Monsoon and Winter sessions, but with members sitting in the chambers and galleries of their respective Houses to guarantee social separation.

(With PTI inputs)

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