The Centre told an all-party meeting Monday that it does not intend to bring any legislative business in Rajya Sabha during the first part of the Budget Session which is till February 11, sources said.
The meeting was convened by Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu through virtual mode to discuss the agenda for the Budget Session that started on Monday.
Union minister and Leader of the House Piyush Goyal informed the meeting that since the duration of the first part is small, no legislative business will be brought by the government, the sources said.
The Budget Session began on Monday and is scheduled to conclude on April 8 with a recess in-between from February 12 to March 13.
Mr Goyal said that due to the paucity of time during the first part of the session, Rajya Sabha will have window only for the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address and the Union Budget proposal, according to the sources.
Mr Naidu also urged leaders of various political parties to allow smooth functioning of the House, and received assurance from them for the same.
He appealed to all sections for cooperation for a productive Budget session, and many leaders also stressed on the need for disruption-free proceedings.
The chairman gave details of time available for various items of business during the first part of the session. He said that during the 10 sittings in the first part till February 11, only 23 hours will be available for businesses other than Zero Hour, Question Hour and Private Members’ Business.
Mr Naidu further said that discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address to the members of both Houses and discussion on Union Budget will get priority during the first part, the sources said.
He informed the leaders that these two major items of business took a total time of over 26 hours during the last Budget Session and 23 hours is available for the same in the first part of this Budget session. He said Rajya Sabha loses an hour per sitting due to staggered sitting of both Houses due to the pandemic.
As many as 15 leaders of different parties spoke in the meeting after Mr Naidu’s opening remarks, the sources said.
When Mr Naidu sought to know the government’s legislative agenda for the session, Mr Goyal stated that in the given time frame, there would be no legislative proposals during the first part of this session, the sources added.
Many leaders echoed the same sense of priorities for the first part of this Budget session and called for a disruption-free session.
BJD Leader Prasanna Acharya urged all parties and members of respective parties not to disrupt Zero Hour and Question Hour since Chairman Naidu has been endeavouring to give opportunities to as many members as possible, thereby enabling wider participation.
Disruptions deny a large number of members such opportunities of participation, he is learnt to have said.
“The Budget session provides guidance to help the national economy recover from the impact of Covid pandemic over the last two years which continues with the third wave. I earnestly appeal to all the leaders to enable a productive Budget Session by urging members of respective parties so as to make meaningful contributions for economic recovery and all round development at this hour of challenge,” Mr Naidu told the leaders in his opening remarks, according to the sources.
He also informed that a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha will be held Tuesday to allocate time for discussion on Motion of Thanks and Union Budget.
The leaders who participated in the meeting included Anand Sharma, Bhupener Yadav, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Derek O’Brien, Tiruchi Siva, Prasannna Acharya, Premchand Gupta, K Kesava Rao, Ramnath Thakur, Praful Patel, Vijayasai Reddy, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, Birendra Prasad Baishya and Abdul Wahab.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and some other leaders could not attend as an all-party meeting convened by the government was simultaneously in progress, the sources said.
The shadow of the Pegasus snooping row already looms large over the Budget session with the opposition geared up to take up the issue after the New York Times claimed that India had brought the Pegasus spyware from Israel in 2017 as part of a $2 billion defence deal.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)