Online meetings of parliamentary panels unlikely
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has factored in the resumption of domestic flights and passenger train services between Delhi and various state capitals to chalk out the plan for regular meetings amid the easing of lockdown restrictions.Updated: May 25, 2020 12:57 IST
Preparations have started in earnest to hold usual in-camera meetings at the Parliament complex, as an earlier plan to hold online meetings of the parliamentary panels appears to have been junked.
“So far, nine rooms in the Parliament House and annexe have been identified for holding regular meetings of the 24 department-related Standing Committees and another six rooms are being prepared for other committees of both the Houses,” said an official.
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla have factored in the resumption of domestic flights and passenger train services between Delhi and various state capitals to chalk out the plan for regular meetings amid the easing of lockdown restrictions, which were imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-1) outbreak.
There was a clamour for holding online meetings when the lockdown restrictions were imposed.
On Saturday, Naidu held an hour-long meeting with Birla, as lockdown 4.0 is tipped to end on May 31. The secretaries-general of both the Houses and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.
“Both the presiding officers have taken note of the resumption of air and train services in the country,” said a senior official.
Only the chairmen of four panels -- all of them from the Congress -- were in favour of holding digital meetings. Information technology panel head Shashi Tharoor, pubic account committee chairman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, home affairs panel head Anand Sharma, and environment panel chairman Jairam Ramesh had suggested online meetings.
The officials also pointed out that only the Main Committee Room in the annexe has enough space to maintain social distancing norms. Naidu and Birla said that additional seats with microphone facilities would be installed in the other rooms as well.