The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which usually starts in mid-July, is now likely to start around September 10 and will focus on clearing the ordinances that the government has brought in the last four months.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the session is likely to be short, with unprecedented arrangements in place. The length of the session, however, will ultimately depend on whether the government decides to hold the proceedings of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on alternate days or with a staggered daily schedule.
Officials quoted in the report said that while Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker favor a staggered schedule since it will keep the session short without Members of Parliament (MPs) from outside needing to spend a lot of time in Delhi, some MPs want an alternate day schedule to cater to the demands of both the Houses.
While the government will focus on clearing ordinances— including the amendment to Essential Commodities Act and a new legislation on contract farming— the Opposition is looking to push for a debate on economy, the India-China border conflict and the government's management of the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, reports suggest, preparations are underway for the Monsoon Session with several first-time measures in view 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.
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.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 also be in place.