By Payal Mehta
New Delhi [India], January 24 (ANI): Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will have staggered timing during the budget session of parliament beginning March 31 as part of measures against COVID-19 amid a rise in the number of cases in the country.
Sources said Rajya Sabha will meet in the first half of the day and the Lok Sabha in the second half of the day.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint sitting of two Houses on Jan 31 and the union budget will be presented on February 1.
Rajya Sabha is likely to function from 10 am till 3 pm on working days. The exact timing of the upper House of parliament is yet to be confirmed and approved by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu who is recovering from COVID-19 in Hyderabad. Lok Sabha will function from 4 pm to 9 pm during the budget session.
Several other protocols, including the restricted entry of staff with MPs and ministers, and that of media is likely to continue. There is likely to be no entry for visitors and people coming on casual passes.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are also likely to continue with the practice of bills not being sent to the members in paper form. The MPs will be encouraged to mark their attendance online.
There will be norms of social distancing and wearing masks. Those eligible for booster dose against COVID-19 are being encouraged to take it. There will be regular testing to ensure that there is no spread of the virus, sources said.
It may be recalled that that the monsoon session of 2020 was the first full session held under COVID protocol with Rajya sabha meeting in the first half of the day and Lok Sabha during the second half. The same was followed for the first part of budget session during 2021.
For the second part of budget session and monsoon and winter sessions last year, Rajya sabha and Lok Sabha reverted to normal timings with members sitting in the chambers as also galleries of the respective houses.
The first part of the budget session will begin on January 31 and will continue till February 11. The second part of the budget session will be held from March 14 to April 8. (ANI)
Strict COVID protocols, staggered timing for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha in budget session
ANI | Updated: Jan 24, 2022 21:34 IST
By Payal Mehta