The Centre has said that the Winter session of Parliament was not held due to the concerns expressed by political party leaders over the pandemic and Budget session will be held in January.
Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had urged Speaker Om Birla to convene a short winter session of the House to discuss several issues including the farmers' agitation and preparation of COVID-19 vaccine.
Responding to the letter, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, "At present, we are in the middle of December and a Covid vaccine is expected very soon. In this regard, I have 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.”
"The 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 reportedly told Chowdhury.
Earlier, in a letter to Birla, Chowdhury had said that the winter session of the House be convened with all the COVID-19 protocols in place to help the people understand the important issues the country is facing at present.
"There are a number of very important issues that the nation is facing in present times. The most notable among them are the ongoing farmers' agitation and the status/preparation of the COVID-19 vaccine," the letter read.
Listing issues like "economic slowdown, unemployment scenario, continuous stand-off along the India-China border and unabated ceasefire violation along the India-Pakistan border", Chowdhury said, "There is a need for a thorough and transparent debate/discussion on all the above-mentioned important issues."
In the letter to Chowdhury, Joshi said the winter months are “crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly in Delhi.”
“You are aware that the Monsoon Session was slightly delayed, and was held in September 2020 due to extraordinary situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic, following all precautionary protocols…. the Session proved to be one of the most productive sessions of Parliament, with 27 Bills passed by both Houses in 10 continuous sittings," he said.