Parliament session from Monday; no RTPCR test needed for members who have been vaccinated
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla inspected arrangements for the monsoon session of Parliament set to begin on July 19. The session will involve the return to some of the regular features of the functioning of the lower house even as certain restrictions will be in place on account of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The proceedings of the Lok Sabha will begin at 11am as per the normal timings for the lower house. The Lok Sabha will have 19 sittings in the July 19-August 13 session. Previous sessions of Parliament in the midst of COVID-19 have seen the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha functioning in two different shifts.
Besides, with majority of the members having received COVID-19 vaccination, it will not be mandatory for MPs, who have taken at least one dose of the vaccine, to undertake RTPCR test. The previous sessions in 2020 and earlier this year involved mandatory COVID-19 testing for the MPs, the Parliament officials and mediapersons.
However, facility for RTPCR test and vaccination will be available in Parliament house complex.
Talking to reporters, Birla said 411 members have already been vaccinated and the rest are yet to get the jabs because of medical reasons. Officials of the Lok Sabha secretariat have also been vaccinated, he said.
A total of 280 MPs will sit in the Lok Sabha chamber and 259 members will sit in the galleries to ensure social distancing. Also, no visitors will not be allowed during the session on account of , Birla said.
Birla said despite COVID-19, record business has been transacted during the first five sessions compared to the previous sections of Lok Sabha. The speaker emphasised that of late, there has been a significant increase in the receipt of replies from the ministries on matters raised under Rule 377. “The 17th Lok Sabha has taken several measures in the direction of strengthening accountability of the executive,” he said.
Speaking on the new Parliament building, he said it will meet the construction deadlines. He also informed that an app is being developed which will be a one-stop solution for all parliamentary matters.
He said the Parliament library is being fully digitised and that all important parliamentary debates, papers, and documents etc. from 1854 onwards will be digitally available. “Parliament library and the libraries of the state assemblies will be brought on one digital platform for common access,” Birla said.
He further said for the convenience of members, the facility of home delivery of books from the library has also been started by the Parliament library.