New Delhi: The government has said that the winter session of Parliament will not be held this year, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it will only be appropriate to convene the budget session in January next year.
In a letter to the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, “Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of 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.”
The minister said he had informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and “they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with winter session”.
“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 last week of November or 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 – in a year.