No Winter Session Of Parliament Due To COVID-19

Parliament Budget session to begin today

There will be no winter session of Parliament this time because of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has officially said, ending speculation. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi has said in a letter to a Congress MP that all political parties favour scrapping the session to avoid any Covid spread and jumping straight to the Budget session in January.

The government has said the floor leaders of the party whom it consulted favoured skipping the Winter Session due to Covid-19 pandemic situation. Joshi said the government is willing to have Budget Session at the “earliest”. The minister said that he had held discussions with leaders of all parties and the consensus was not to call a session due to COVID-19 even though the monsoon session held in September after a long delay due to anti-virus logistics was “one of the most productive sessions with 27 bills passed in 10 continuous sittings”. The Monsoon Session of Parliament was delayed due to coronavirus and held in September instead of July. It was cut short by 10 days due to the Covid-19 situation. Earlier, the Budget Session of Parliament had to be cut short due to Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The constitution says that parliament must meet within six months. The Budget session is likely in the last week of January ahead of the budget announcement on February 1. In the past two years, the Budget Session of Parliament began in January – January 28 in 2018 and January 31 in 2019.