Month-long Parliament winter session likely to begin on November 22, end on December 23

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Economic Times, October 13, 2021

The government plans to have a month-long winter session of Parliament in the fourth week of November. According to government insiders, the parliamentary affairs ministry has suggested the session begin on November 22 and end on December 23. There is also a proposal to begin the session on November 15.

“The winter session will be at least a month-long session. There is also a suggestion to have it longer than a month,” a government insider told ET. A final call will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

Central ministries have been asked to send tentative legislative agenda which they would like to push through in the session. This agenda includes bills with departmental standing committees, bills passed by one House and new bills.

The parliamentary affairs ministry has also started discussing Covid-19 protocols with the health ministry. The Centre is likely to continue with the protocosl followed in the monsoon session. The Centre had done away with the requirement of an RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated members to attend Parliament. The health ministry has sought details from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats on the number of unvaccinated staff. A senior health ministry official told ET: “We have run a check on MPs and found that all members have been fully vaccinated. Those left out during the monsoon session have also been covered.”

This will be the fourth session since the outbreak of Covid-19. The first session after the pandemic was in September 2020. After several members contracted the virus, the session was curtailed and the government decided against holding a winter session in 2020. The budget session was held in January, but was curtailed due to rising cases. The monsoon session was the third session since Covid-19 but adjourned ahead of time due to repeated disruptions by the opposition over a range of issues, including demand for discussion on Pegasus spyware.

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