Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
PTI Photo

New Delhi: With Coronavirus receding, both the Houses of Parliament will have simultaneous sittings from 11 AM to 6 PM as usual in the monsoon session beginning on July 19, instead of sitting in shifts.

After taking a round of the Parliament House complex to check the preparations for the session, which will last till August 13 with altogether 13 sittings, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla told a Press conference that as many as 311 MPs of the House have taken both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine; 23 have not yet taken the vaccine and three desisted because of medical reasons. He said all Parliament secretariat staff has been inoculated and the staff of the MPs is also being vaccinated free of cost.

He also announced that media will get passes for the coverage of the monsoon session. The announcement came in response to the first question from Press Club of India President Umakant Lakhera on 75% of the accredited journalists being denied access.

Birla also invited the media to make use of the facilities set up in the Parliament House who are desirous of Covid-19 tests or vaccination.

Om Birla on New Parliament building

In reply to a question on the construction of the new Parliament building, he said it is running 10 days behind schedule while the target was to complete it by October next year. The Speaker is quite hopeful that the gap will be covered so that they can have the winter session of 2022 in the new building.

He has many schemes up his sleeves, including an App that will provide all information and even live debate. He said the App will be ready, in all probability, during this session or soon thereafter. He envisages making all debates available on the web within one hour. The idea is to make available debates of not only all Lok Sabhas but also those of the constituent assembly and earlier .

He proposes to make available to the MPs research papers within 24 hours with the help of the Parliament library and research department. This will enhance the quality of debates in the House with help authentic facts and figures quoted by the MPs

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