The government has decided that there will be no Winter Session of Parliament this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Parliament will meet for the Budget Session in January next year. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi confirmed it in his reply to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Chowdhury had earlier sent a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asking for a short Winter Session of Parliament to discuss the issues arising out of farmers' protest over the three farm bills passed during the Monsoon Session in September.
He said, "Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of the recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly in Delhi. At present, we are in the middle of December and a covid vaccine is expected very soon."
The minister said he had informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and "they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with winter session".
"Government is willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earliest; it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic," Joshi wrote.
Talking about the monsoon session which was delayed due to the pandemic, he appreciated cooperation from all political parties for a productive session held under extraordinary circumstances by making special logistical arrangements.
In the past two years, the Budget Session of Parliament began in January - January 28 in 2018 and January 31 in 2019.
With PTI inputs