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Naidu, Birla Review Readiness for Monsoon Session as Covid Cloud Still Wanders

By: Payal Mehta

Last Updated: July 09, 2021, 14:22 IST

File photo of Parliament (PTI)

File photo of Parliament (PTI)

All preparations have been made by both secretariats of Parliament considering pandemic protocols have to be strictly followed, sources say.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday undertook a detailed review of parliamentary preparations for the upcoming monsoon session in the presence of senior officers and secretary generals of both Houses, CNN-News18 has learnt. The session will get underway in the next 10 days and there will be 20 sittings in all with both Houses to work simultaneously from 11am to 6pm. Sources say that all the preparations have been made by both the secretariats considering, as was the case in the previous two sessions, Covid protocols have to be strictly adhered to.

As per the Rajya Sabha records, 202 MPs have been fully vaccinated, while only six have not got any shots because of certain health conditions. Lok Sabha records show that more than 450 lawmakers, not including ministers, have got jabs.

All other Covid protocols will continue to be in place including mandatory masking for everyone, mandatory RT-PCR test restrictions on visitors and also avoiding the use of paper. The Central Hall of Parliament will also continue to be out of bounds for former MPs, MLAs and family members of parliamentarians. Members would also be urged to refrain from any gathering in the Parliament premises and also to restrict their personal staff from entering the building.

The government, with a revamped team after Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle, has a number of crucial bills to present while the opposition has been demanding discussions on repealing the controversial farm laws that have sparked months-long protests, the alarming rise in fuel prices, and the alleged misuse of investigating agencies by the ruling regime against rivals, apart from India’s handling of the pandemic. The budget session in March was curtailed as many lawmakers wanted to focus on campaigning for the April-May assembly elections in several states.

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