ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani yesterday separately briefed President Arif Alvi about arrangements and preventive measures taken by National Assembly and Senate secretariats , in the wake of Coronavirus [COVID-19], for upcoming budget session.

President Arif Alvi visited both the houses [National Assembly and Senate] to check arrangements for upcoming longest session, in which federal budget 2020-21 will be presented.

President issued instructions that social distancing should be ensured for the safety of the parliamentarians and staff of the parliament against the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

President stressed for coordinated efforts of the nation to fight the pandemic effectively.

President also urged for taking necessary measures such as social distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand-washing.

Both the houses [National Assembly and Senate] had met once for five days among Coronavirus threat, discussing the negative impact of novel virus on country’s economy.

Stresses for coordinated efforts of nation to fight pandemic effectively

The confirmed cases have touched the figure of 73,862 with 1565 confirmed death in different parts of country. The death of PTI MPA Shaheen Raza due to Coronavirus has also created panic among the lawmakers from Punjab Assembly.

The National Assembly Secretariat and Senate Secretariat have also issued instruction to MPs to get themselves tested for Coronavirus before attending upcoming national assembly session and Senate.

The President visited the hall of the Senate and National Assembly, reviewed preparations for the session and instructed that members should be asked to follow safety guidelines and sit one seat apart from each other. 

The concerned departments national assembly secretariat and Senate secretariat had conveyed all lawmakers to get Coronavirus test before attending the longest session of national assembly. 

President Arif Alvi, in a meeting with Speaker national assembly and Chairman Senate, discussed matters related parliamentary affairs. The upcoming session of national assembly will continue till August, covering upcoming federal budget 2020-21 and legislative business.

The parliamentary leaders of both the houses have also summoned business advisory committee meeting before the session of national assembly to jointly decide further mechanism to run the session of national assembly. The parliamentary leaders would decide the mechanism for holding debate on budgetary proposals.

Sources said that the timing will be fixed for holding debate on budgetary proposals. The timing of the sitting will not be as long as it was practiced in past, due to Coronavirus crisis. The lawmakers will be advised to follow the timing instructions during debate on upcoming budget.