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Parliament Monsoon Session be held from September 14 to October 1, recommends Cabinet Committee

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has recommended that the Monsoon Session of Parliament be held from September 14 to October 1, sources said on Tuesday. According to them, there will be in total 18 sittings and its dates will be notified later in the day.

Hectic preparations are underway for the Monsoon Session of Parliament with several first-time measures because of the COVID-19 pandemic such as staggered sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate members while following physical distancing norms, officials had said.

According to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, members of the Upper House will be seated in both chambers and galleries during the session.

This is the first time in the history of Indian Parliament since 1952 that such an arrangement will be in place, where 60 members will be seated in the chamber and 51 in the galleries of Rajya Sabha and the remaining 132 in the chamber of Lok Sabha.

Similar seating arrangements are being worked out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat as well.

For the first time, large display screens and consoles for participation from galleries, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, special cables between the two Houses and polycarbonate separators will be in place.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at a meeting on July 17, after detailed examination of various options for holding the session, decided on using the chambers and galleries of both the Houses.

Naidu has directed officials to complete preparations for the session by the third week of August when testing, rehearsal and final inspection would be carried out. The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has been working overtime to ensure full preparedness, officials said.

While both the Houses usually function simultaneously, this time due to extraordinary circumstances, one House will sit during morning hours and the other in the evening, sources say.

The last Budget Session of Parliament had to be curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and both Houses were adjourned sine die on March 23.

As per precedent, Parliament has to be convened before the end of six months from the last session. 

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