Budget session: Speaker reviews preparations, canteen subsidy to go

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2021

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla   -  PTI

RT-PCR test for Covid-19 mandatory for all participants, officials

Ahead of the Budget session of the Parliament beginning on January 29, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held a meeting of senior officials from various departments and the Delhi government on the arrangements for conducting the session.

Birla also announced that subsidised food will be stopped in the canteen in the House premises from this session. The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has got the new contract to run the canteens in the place of Railways, which was managing the canteens for years.

Birla did not mention the exact amount of money that could be saved by the decision. It is indicated that ₹8-10 crore will be saved from this decision. A number of MPs, including BJP leader Rajeev Chandrashekhar, had earlier demanded that the subsidies must be stopped.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Birla said all protocols adopted during the last monsoon session of the Parliament will be continued in the upcoming session too. The first phase of the session will be held from January 29 to February 15 and the second phase from March 8 to April 8. While the Rajya Sabha will meet from 9 am to 2 pm, the Lok Sabha will sit from 4 pm to 9 pm, the Speaker said.

As part of the protocol, the budget papers, including the Economic Survey, will not be printed this time but soft copies will be made available to the members and the media, he added.

RT-PCR test mandatory

He said members and officers should go through RT-PCR tests ahead of the session and added that it is advised that family members and personal staff of the members could also take the tests to be arranged at locations close to the residences of members.

Session duration

He said the first phase of the session will have 12 sittings and the second phase 21 sittings. “Question Hour, Zero Hour will be held during this session,” he added.

The monsoon session did not have question hour. When asked about Covid vaccination for the members, he said the protocol for that will be decided by the State governments and the Centre.

Published on January 19, 2021

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