Later, a visit to the Lok Sabha Chamber and the Galleries was also made for the media to show the arrangements for the Monsoon Session.
Briefing the media, Birla said the 4th Session of the 17th Lok Sabha will commence from 14 September 2020 till 1 October 2020 and will have 18 sittings in all. This Session is being held under very challenging circumstances when the country is facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Om Birla further said that Parliament represents the hopes and aspirations of our countrymen and even in the present scenario, it will fulfill its constitutional responsibility of ensuring the accountability of the Government.
Om Birla told that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure that the Session is held in a smooth manner by ensuring compliance with all the Covid-19 related health and safety guidelines.
For this, elaborate consultations have been made with the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, medical experts and other agencies.
Om Birla further said that on 14 September 2020, the Lok Sabha will hold its sitting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 15 September to 1 October 2020, the sittings will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both the Chambers of the two Houses have been integrated for holding this Session.
There will be sitting arrangements for 257 Members in the Lok Sabha Chamber and 172 Members will be seated in the Lok Sabha Galleries. Arrangements have been made for the sitting of 60 Members in the Rajya Sabha Chamber and 51 Members will be seated in the Rajya Sabha Galleries.
To ensure social distancing, transparent polycarbonate sheets have been placed between the benches. The Answers to the Unstarred Questions will be laid on the Table of the House and half-an-hour each day has been allotted for Zero Hour matters.
There will be the least usage of paper and efforts have been made to supply Parliamentary papers in a digital format. The access to Central Hall has been restricted for Members only.
Birla also informed that all MPs have been requested to get themselves tested for Covid-19, before the Session. A Mobile Attendance Application ‘Attendance Register’ has been developed for marking of attendance by the Members in the Parliament House Complex.
Underlining the fact that constructive debates are an integral feature of our parliamentary democracy, Om Birla expressed the confidence that all MPs will productively fulfill their collective legislative responsibilities for ensuring the welfare of the people and in the national interest, just as they have ensured in providing relief and assistance to the public in the fight against Coronavirus.