Lok Sabha adjourned sine die after Finance Bill passage

Opposition wanted an announcement from Nirmala Sitharaman of a financial package to tackle COVID-19, but she didn’t speak on the issue.

Updated - March 23, 2020 10:26 pm IST

Published - March 23, 2020 03:57 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Sense of the House: Lok Sabha members, led by Narendra Modi, applaud the work of health workers.

Sense of the House: Lok Sabha members, led by Narendra Modi, applaud the work of health workers.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Monday after the passage of the Finance Bill , 2020 without any debate due to the situation arising out of the Coronavirus pandemic. The House was scheduled to adjourn on April 3.

Parliament proceedings, as it happened on March 23, 2020

The decision was taken before the House convened at 2 p.m. (later than the usual time of 11 a.m. due to flight disruptions delaying the arrival of MPs to Delhi) after a meeting was held by Speaker Om Birla with floor leaders of various parties. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said it was an extraordinary situation and that the Finance Bill needed to be passed.

As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented amendments to the Bill for passing, Congress legislative party leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary said the Opposition was ready to pass the Finance Bill but wanted an announcement from Ms Sitharaman of a financial package that would help mitigate the economic hardships engendered by the pandemic. DMK member T.R. Baalu also made the demand.

Ms Sitharaman, however, did not speak on the issue. After the passage of the Bill, two more Bills for a National Security University was introduced by Minister of State for Home G Kishen Reddy.

“We are ready to pass the Finance Bill but we need to hear some announcement of an economic package from the Finance Minister,” said Mr Choudhary.

Towards the end of the sitting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Lok Sabha and members gave a standing ovation to the first responders, medical professionals, essential services workers and media for being at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. The Speaker also mentioned the success of the Janata Curfew. He said that as MPs go back to their constituencies, they would be joining the fight too.

He added that the Budget session, the first part of which began on January 31, saw 109 hours and 23 minutes of works done in 23 sittings. “As we go back to our constituencies, we need to take on the challenge of this pandemic and turn a negative atmosphere into a positive one,” he said.

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