Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Sepaker Om Birla today reviewed various options for holding the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament. The Secretaries-General of both the Houses of Parliament briefed the two Presiding Officers on various options under consideration, in the meeting convened by M Venkaiah Naidu.
The Secretaries-General reported the outcomes of assessment of seating capacity in the Chambers of both the Houses, the Central Hall of Parliament and the Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhawan. They informed that while the Rajya Sabha Chamber can accommodate about 60 Members as per the norms of social distancing, the Lok Sabha Chamber and the Central Hall is adequate enough for a little over 100 Members. They further said that even if the Members were to be accommodated in the galleries, the total seating capacity would be much less than the required, if all members were to be accommodated.
Even the Plenary Hall of the Vigyan Bhawan would not be adequate to accommodate all the Members of the Lok Sabha.
The officials further informed the Presiding Officers of certain other limitations if the Central Hall and Vigyan Bhawan were to be used for the Session like the non availability of AC facility during the day in the Central Hall and problems of enabling Simultaneous Interpretation Service etc.
Another option discussed was to enable attendance in the Chambers of both the Houses of only those many members who can be accommodated as per the social distancing norm by drawing up lists of such members whose participation in various items of business is required on a daily basis.
M Venkaiah Naidu and Om Birla directed the two top officials to examine in detail various issues related to enabling virtual participation of members in the proceedings of both the Houses viz., the maximum capacity available for enabling such virtual participation, feasibility of enabling participation of members as per the Rules of Business of both the Houses, other technical issues etc.
Regarding virtual meetings of the Parliamentary Committees, it was explained that any change in the Rules concerning such meetings required a motion to be carried in both the Houses of Parliament.