New Delhi [India], September 10 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that seats have been allocated to parties on the basis of their strength for the monsoon session of parliament, which will for the first time see members sitting in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers due to COVID-19 guidelines, and it was for leaders of parties to decide the sitting place of their members.
Birla told ANI that consultations have been held with various political parties for the monsoon session and sought their cooperation in the smooth running of the session which commences on September 14 and will have 20 sittings.
"We have discussed with all parties and we will further discuss with them. Seats have been allocated on the basis of the party's strength in the house. Every party's leader in the house will decide who and where members will sit, " Birla told ANI.
Answering a question about opposition concerns regarding Question Hour, he said the session is being held in difficult conditions to fulfil constitutional responsibilities and whatever could be done in available time has been done.
He said political parties have been consulted and the session will be held with the support of all parties.
He said the legislative business and issues for discussion will be decided in meetings of the business advisory committee.
He urged members to ensure the smooth functioning of the House so that people of the country are benefitted.
The Speaker said members have been asked to follow all the guidelines and norms related to COVID-19.
He said parliamentarians have been fulfilling their duties to people amid COVID-19 pandemic and they will now fulfil their constitutional responsibilities.
"The session will be conducted amid pandemic. Parliamentarians will raise the concerns of their area in the parliament. We have made adequate arrangements in view of COVID-19. We have requested all the MPs to come after COVID-19 tests. COVID-19 tests will be mandatory for all those who are coming in parliament premises," he said.
According to official bulletins by Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, there will be no question hour and private members' business in both Houses of Parliament in the monsoon session amid coronavirus pandemic.
Both the Houses of Parliament will sit for four hours daily adhering to coronavirus precautionary measures.
On the first day of the session on September 14, the lower House will meet from 9 am to 1 pm and sitting in the Upper House will be from 3 pm to 7 pm.
On subsequent days, proceedings in Rajya Sabha will be held from 9 am till 1 pm while that of Lok Sabha will be from 3 pm to 7 pm. (ANI)