Published: Tue, September 15, 2020

Around 30 MPs, 50 employees of Parliament test positive for COVID

Around 30 MPs, 50 employees of Parliament test positive for COVID

With a new schedule, Lok Sabha on September 14 from 9 am to 1 pm and September 15 onwards, it will sit from 3 pm to 7 pm.

The monsoon session, is being held in two shifts.

Several questions are expected to be raised on the imposition of nationwide lockdown restrictions from March 25, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines issued by the ministry periodically, handling of lockdown by police, treatment of migrant labourers, individual restrictions imposed by various states and the stimulus package announced following the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, this time the parliament session would be different as there will be no question hour and private members' bills will not be taken up in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, while the Zero Hour will be restricted.

The Rajya Sabha, on first day of the Monsoon session on Monday, will elect its Deputy Chairman, with NDA's Harivansh Narayan Singh and RJD's Manoj Jha in the fray for the post.

Among the ordinances coming up before both Houses would be what the government had termed its trio of Bills for agricultural reform - the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the amendments to the Essential Commodities Act. Some members like Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee wore face shields in addition to masks. Speaking to the media before the session began, PM Modi said, "No relaxations until the Covid-19 vaccine comes". Given that MPs were sitting in the visitors' galleries too, Naidu asked them to raise a hand to be spotted when called on to speak even as Speaker Om Birla noted the high attendance despite the pandemic.

Today Rajya Sabha proceedings will be conducted between 3 pm and 7 pm. Members registered their attendance in a specially designed mobile app. The Monsoon Session of parliament this time is being held with large-scale safety protocols in place that include staggered seating of MPs in chambers of both Houses to maintain physical distancing. Each seat in Lok Sabha has been separated by polycarbonate sheets as also individual rows.

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