‘Last’ Session Of 16th Odisha Assembly To Begin Today; What To Expect From Interim Budget
Bhubaneswar: The budget session of the Odisha assembly will begin on Monday with the address of Governor Raghubar Das.
The session, which will continue till February 13, will be the last sitting of the current 16th Assembly ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections later this year.
Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha will present the vote-on-account for the first four months of the 2024-25 fiscal, on February 8. While discussion on the vote-on-account is scheduled to take place the same day, the appropriation bill for the vote-on-account will be tabled on February 9. The government is unlikely to table any new bill in this short session.
Sources said that the government is likely to seek vote-on-account for at least 40% of the proposed budget of more than Rs 2.6 lakh crore for 2024-25 approved by the council of ministers, compared to Rs 2.3 lakh crore in 2023-24. The focus is likely to be on continuing agriculture, irrigation, infrastructure development, health, education, rural development, social security and welfare schemes.
On Sunday, Assembly Speaker Pramila Mallik convened an all-party meeting for the smooth conduct of the short-term session.
BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi said that the party leaders would raise issues, including “non-implementation” of central schemes such as Ayushman Bharat in Odisha and the state government’s alleged negligence towards tribals. “We will also rake up corruption and law and order issues,” he said.
He alleged that the government has called a short-term session only to announce some schemes to woo the voters ahead of the twin polls.
Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said that they will seek replies on many issues, including embezzlement of funds in the implementation of Srimandira Parikrama project.
Government chief whip Prashant Kumar Muduli told mediapersons that the state government is prepared to face the Opposition during the session. All issues raised by the BJP and Congress members in the Assembly will be discussed, he added.
The BJD legislature party meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will be held on Monday to discuss strategy of the ruling party, the sources added.
On security arrangements for the assembly budget session, Odisha DGP Arun Sarangi said, “We have made special arrangements for the budget session…There’ll be three layers of security…We are ready to tackle any kind of law and order situation if it arises…”
As many as 28 platoons of police force, SOG, striking force, bomb defusing squad, quick action teams, dog squads and fire service personnel have been deployed. CCTVs have been installed around the Assembly, at Lower PMG, Rabindra Mandap and nearby areas to keep a sharp vigil on suspects and demonstrators during the Assembly session. Besides, five makeshift police control rooms have been opened while eight DSPs, 16 ACPs and over 100 police personnel led by DCP Prateek Singh have been deployed.