JS budget session to be cut short due to Covid-19 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 02, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:01 AM, June 02, 2020

JS budget session to be cut short due to Covid-19

The daily order of business of this year's budget session will be carried out with minimum lawmakers in the House, in an attempt to maintain social distancing and avoid the risk of novel coronavirus infection.

Moreover, there will be no question-answer session for ministers and the prime minister in this session. This is becauase it will not be possible to prepare the answers of the questions asked by the MPs, since the respective ministries were on holiday due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said sources at the parliament secretariat.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said senior members of parliament have been advised not to take part in the session considering their age.

The parliament will be run every day with 80-90 lawmakers, so that they can sit maintaining distance in compliance with the health guidelines.

As per the rules of parliament procedure, the presence of 60 out of 350 members of parliament is mandatory for ensuring a quorum to start the sitting of a parliamentary session.

A whip of ruling Awami League said the presence of respective ministers and MPs would be ensured in the session on particular day when the session will have business related to them.

Presence of other MPs will be discouraged, he said, preferring not to be named.

Sources said the chief whip of parliament Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury would sit in a meeting with all the whips soon to take a final decision on the issue, including preparing the list of MPs who will participate in the session.

The budget session would be as short as possible to avoid the risk of infection. No other business except for budgetary activities would be done during the upcoming budget session.

The constitution has an obligation to pass the budget before June 30. The rules of procedure also instruct the members of parliament to discuss the proposed budget.

The budget session will begin on June 10 while Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal will place the national budget for 2020-21 fiscal on the following day.

On April 18, the seventh session of parliament continued for only an hour which was the shortest ever parliament session.

MEDIA REQUESTED TO COVER THRU' LIVE TELECAST

Parliament secretariat yesterday at a press release requested all media outlets to cover the budget session through live telecast of Sangsad Television instead of coming to parliament.

It also said no pass will be issued to journalists to cover the budget session this time due to Covid-19 situation.

However, one reporter from each media outlet will be able to collect budgetary documents from the media centre, situated outside the parliament building.

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