Rajya Sabha proceedings begin as second phase of Budget session starts.
Rajya Sabha proceedings begin as second phase of Budget session starts.

New Delhi: The second part of the Budget session of Parliament began Monday as Rajya Sabha reconvened in the morning with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.

The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm, while the Lok Sabha will function between 4 pm and 10 pm. The second part of the session will conclude on April 8—it is taking place at a time when political parties' focus is on elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry.

Senior leaders of various parties, especially the regional ones, are likely to skip most of the House sittings to focus on campaigning. Therefore, its duration might be curtailed. The Trinamool Congress, the ruling party in West Bengal where an 8-phase election is scheduled, has already demanded adjournment of the Parliament session due to the Assembly polls.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Floor Leader of TMC Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, and Derek O'Brien, Leader of TMC Parliamentary Party in Rajya Sabha, have written to the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman, respectively, for adjournment of the Parliament session.

Sources said parties across the board support curtailing the session in view of the polls, PTI reported.

However, an official decision is yet to be taken.

The main focus of the government in the second part of the session is to get various demands of grants for the financial year 2021-22 passed along with the Finance Bill, which carries various tax proposals.

Besides these, the government has listed various bills for passage in the session.

Some of are the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, Electricity (Amendment) Bill, and Crypto currency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill.

The first part of the Budget session started on January 29 with the President's address to joint sitting of both Houses. The address was boycotted by over 20 opposition parties, including the Congress, in support of the demand of the protesting farmers for the repeal of the three farm laws.

The Union Budget was tabled on February 1.

Thereafter, House proceedings were washed out for four consecutive days over the opposition's demand for separate discussion on farm issues. To compensate for the lost time, the House sat till midnight for several days.

(With PTI inputs)

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