Efforts are on to begin Budget (Session) likely in new Parliament House

New Delhi: Amidst media speculations Lok Sabha Speaker Sh. Om Birla clarified that President address will be in the existing building of parliament. He twitted that “The New Parliament Building is still under construction. During Budget Session, the Hon’ble President will address Members of two Houses in the existing Parliament House Building.”

Despite these hectic preparations are underway to unveil this year’s annual Budget in the new Parliament House. Sources said the first day of the upcoming Session, which is a joint sitting of both the Houses, will be addressed by President Draupadi Murmu on January 31 followed by the presentation of the Union Budget 2023-24 on February 1 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Sources also said the bicameral legislatures commonly known as Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha or Lower House and Upper House may be rechristened with a new sanskritised nomenclature.

Recently, when the ambitious Central Vista project was opened for public after redevelopment, it got a new name—Kartavyapath—in place of Rajpath.

The new Parliament building does not have a Central Hall similar to the present one where joint sittings of both Houses are held. However, the Lok Sabha has enough capacity to accommodate members from both Lower and Upper Houses.

“The Lok Sabha Hall may accommodate up to 1,272 seats for joint Sessions,” Parliament sources said. The Parliament was scheduled to be completed by November last year, but the pandemic affected some work being done by the Tata Projects.

The Centre on Friday released the layout and new photos from inside the new under-construction Parliament building for which the final touches are being given.

“The final decision about where the forthcoming Parliamentary Budget Session will be held — the new facility or the current one — is being done and the final call will be taken within a couple of days,” Government sources said.

The new Parliament building is a part of the Central Vista redevelopment. It features larger halls, a modern library, redeveloped offices and committee rooms with state-of-art facilities.

The new Parliament building that has come up adjacent to the existing one has a built-up area of about 65,000 sqm, with its triangular shape ensuring optimal utilisation of space.

The larger Lower House Hall is based on the peacock theme (the national bird), with a capacity of up to 888 seats which is thrice the size of the older one which will be converted into a museum.

A larger Upper House Hall will have a capacity of up to 384 seats and is based on the lotus theme, the national flower.

Interestingly, the existing Parliament House celebrated its inaugural day on January 18 that was inaugurated on this very day 96 years ago by the then Viceroy Lord Irwin, then called the Council House.