Budget Session: Odisha Assembly To Meet For 5 Hours From March 25, COVID Test For Journalist & MLAs On March 23-24

Bhubaneswar: The COVID-19 test for legislators and journalists will be conducted ahead of the Odisha Assembly session, starting March 25.

“The tests will be conducted on March 23 and 24. The legislators busy in municipal polls will undergo tests on March 20,21 and 22 and submit reports to the Assembly,” Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro said on Friday.

The budget session will be conducted for five hours a day in two phases – 10.30 am to 1.30 pm and again from 4 pm to 6 pm – while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.

The journalists, however, will continue to be barred from entering the Assembly and would follow the proceedings from a room on the Assembly premises from live TV as has been the case ever since the beginning of the pandemic.

During the all-party meeting on Tuesday, the Speaker had turned down the demand of Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra for allowing journalists inside the assembly, saying that it was necessary to maintain social distancing among members in accordance with the guidelines.

On the first day on March 25, Governor Ganeshi Lal will address the House and the proceeding is likely to be adjourned later as a mark of respect to former chief minister Hemananda Biswal and ex-Speaker Kishore Mohanty, who passed away recently.

Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari will present vote-on-account for 2022-23 fiscal in the House on March 30 and table the Appropriation Bill the following day. The full budget could not be presented this time due to the panchayat and urban polls in the state.


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