Dhaka, July 10 | The budget and eighth session of Bangladesh’s incumbent 11th Parliament was prorogued after only nine working days, becoming the shortest in the country’s recent history, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The session was prorogued at around 1.30 p.m. on Thursday while Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who was presiding over the sitting, read out the prorogation order of the President, reports The Daily Star newspaper.
Among the total nine sittings, only two days were allotted for holding discussions on the budget for 2020-21 fiscal.
On the other hand, discussions on the supplementary budget for 2019-20 fiscal were held only for a day.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the 5,68,000 crore taka national budget on June 11, while the budget session began on June 10.
A total of 5.18 hours discussion was held on the national budget for 2020-21.
In recent years, a total of 50 to 55 hours of discussions were typically held on the budget in Parliament.
Due to the pandemic, only a handful MPs were allowed to attend the session, while enior lawmakers and MPs from outside the capital were discouraged from being present, according to The Daily Star report.
A limited number of staff and officials of the parliament secretariat were asked to come to the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban for their duties.
Members of the media were also requested not to cover the session in-person.
The development comes as Bangladesh has so far far registered a total of 175,494 COVID-19 cases, with 2,238 deaths.