New Delhi, Nov 16: As Delhi witnesses yet another surge in COVID-19 cases, and a further spike due to cold is being predicted in the coming months, the upcoming winter session of Parliament may be merged with the Budget session.
Sources told CNN News18 an official communication and decision will be taken after a meeting between Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. The winter session usually starts around the end of November and continues till mid-December.
It is being said the winter session would be merged with the Budget Session, scheduled to begin around the end of January. The Union Budget is presented each year on February 1.
The Budget session was also curtailed earlier this year amid the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per convention, three sessions of Parliament are held in a year. The Constitution mandates there should not be a gap of six months or more between two sessions.
During the Monsoon Session of parliament, nearly 40 MPs had tested positive for the virus, while over 400 staff of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were also infected. The session was cut short by eight days and concluded on September 24.
The Rajya Sabha did not have winter sessions in 1975, 1979 and 1984 so far. Number of sessions held year-wise till 2019: six sessions in 1991, five each for seven years, four each for 31 years, three each for 27 years and two each in 1952, the first year of RS, and again in 2008.
In 2008, each session was held in two parts covering periods corresponding to budget, monsoon and winter sessions. In 2020, two sessions have so far been held.