NEW DELHI: 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.
During the 10 working days of the session including Saturday and Sunday, a total of 25 bills were passed, he said, adding some of the important bills included those related to agriculture reforms and labour sector.
Besides, the House also passed the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants empowering the government for additional spending of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, the highest ever so far.
During the session, the House transacted 68 per cent legislative business and the remaining 32 per cent non-legislative business including discussions.
The House also took up a discussion on the coronavirus pandemic, which continued for over five hours, Birla observed.
During the session, private members’ business which is usually taken up on Friday evening was done away with to save time.
During private members’ business, Bills brought by individual members are introduced and debated.
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.
Source: Press Trust of India