Monsoon Session concludes abruptly, LS adjourned sine die

New Delhi , Sept 24:

Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday evening, bringing the Monsoon Session of Parliament to an end eight days ahead of schedule amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

The session started on September 14 with numerous changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, the two Houses met at different times in a day to ensure social distancing norms.

Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House sine die after the passage of the Major Port Authorities Bill.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present when the House was adjourned. The House was otherwise scheduled to continue till October 1.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die this afternoon.

In his concluding remarks before adjourning the House, Birla said the productivity of the session was a record high.

The productivity of the House was 167 per cent, which was much higher than the past session, he said while thanking all the members. The session also saw the House doing away with the Question Hour in which members ask supplementary questions from the government. However, written replies were tabled to 2,300 questions.

To maintain social distancing norms during the session, members of Lok Sabha were also seated in the Rajya Sabha chamber and the visitors’ gallery just above the Lok Sabha chamber.

Rajya Sabha also followed a similar practice. This is the first time in the Indian parliamentary history that such a practice was adopted to mitigate the health risk due to the pandemic.

It was mandatory for members to wear a mask and follow other health-related protocols during the 60 hours of proceeding against the allocated 37 hours.

Fibre glass shields were placed in front of each bench and on the side of the members who were not allowed to speak while standing up to avoid any possible spread of COVID-19 infection.

Several MPs including some ministers had tested positive for COVID-19.

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