Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday expressed confidence that Parliament's session in 2022, when Indian will celebrate its 75th year of independence, will be held in a new building. "We are working to have our session in a new Parliament building when we celebrate 75 years of independence. I am hopeful that it will be completed by 2022," he told reporters.
Asked about the venue of the proposed building, he said two-three places are being explored by the government. The new Parliament will have various technological features, including MPs having access to online information at their desks, he said.
Addressing a press conference following the end of the Winter Session, Birla indicated that subsidised canteen run in Parliament complex may be a thing of the past by the next session. "You may not get subsidised tea in the next session," he said.
Birla told reporters that debates and discussions, including those held during the British rule, up to 1858 have been digitised.
Highlighting some milestones of this session, he said for the first time since 1972 all 20 starred questions were answered by ministers concerned on one day during the Question Hour. It had never happened earlier as there used to be 30 starred questions before 1972, when they were reduced to 20, he said.
Lok Sabha Secretariat also sent 337 MPs over 3,700 video clips which were recordings of their interventions in the House during Zero Hour and some other proceedings.
It was a short but productive session, he said, noting that its productivity was over 115 per cent in Lok Sabha.
Birla said he is working with speakers of state assemblies in an effort to develop a standard procedure guiding their work and spoke about concerns over reducing number of working days in state legislatures.
Asked about the post of deputy-speaker lying vacant despite the end of two sessions in the 17th Lok Sabha, the speaker said a decision over the issue has to be taken by the Union government.