Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi informed on Tuesday that winter session will not be held in the Parliament view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government also indicated that it will be appropriate to convene the budget session in January next year.
Joshi said that he informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many have suggested the government to cancel the session.
In a letter to leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Joshi wrote, “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.”
“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.
The winter session of Parliament normally starts from the last week of November or the first week of December.
The Constitution broadly stipulates one major rule that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament. However, it has been a convention to hold three sessions of Parliament – budget, monsoon and winter sessions in a year.