This year's budget session will take place with the presence of only those lawmakers who are essential for the day-to-day activities of the parliament in a bid to maintain social distancing and curb the risk of coronavirus infection.
Moreover, there will be no question and answer session for the ministers and the prime minister as it will not be possible to prepare the answers of the questions asked by the MPs as some ministries were closed for two months due to the nationwide closure, sources at the Parliament Secretariat said today.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said that the senior members of parliament have been advised not to take part in the session considering the heightened risk the virus presents for older people.
Parliament will run every day with 80-90 MPs so that they can sit maintaining a safe distance in compliance with health guidelines.
As per the rules of procedure of parliament, the presence of 60 out of 350 members of parliament is mandatory for ensuring quorum to start the sitting of parliament.
Sources said the budget session would be as short as possible to reduce the risk of spreading the highly transmissible virus.
No business other than budgetary activities will be discussed during the upcoming budget session.
The constitution has an obligation to pass the budget before June 30. The Rules of Procedure also instructs the members of parliament to discuss the proposed budget.
The Parliament Secretariat has requested all media outlets to cover the budget session through a live telecast of Sangsad Television instead of coming to the parliament.
No pass will be issued to journalists to cover the budget session this time due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, it said in a press release today.
However, one reporter from each media outlet will be able to collect budgetary documents from the media centre situated outside the parliament building, the release also said.
The budget session will begin on June 10 while Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal will place the national budget for 2020-21 fiscal year on the following day.
On April 18, the seventh session of the current parliament continued for only an hour, which was the shortest ever parliament session in its history.