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First part of Budget session ends, Assembly to reconvene on April 11

Bhubaneswar: The first part of Budget session concluded on Saturday with the passing of Rs 16,500 crore vote-on-account for the first month of 2018-19 Financial Year (FY).

The Assembly was adjourned on Friday till April 11 when it would be reconvened to carry out a detailed discussion on the Budget apart from disposing of other legislative business. The Assembly is scheduled to conclude on May 5.

The Session began on March 20 with Governor S C Jamir’s address. After two days of discussion on the Governor’s address, Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera presented the annual budget for 2018-19 on March 23.

Since there is gap of hardly a week between presentation of budget and beginning of new financial year only a portion of the budget (Rs 16,500 crore) was taken up for appropriation (vote-on-account) on Saturday as Budget money cannot be spent by the State Government without appropriation in the Assembly.

Appropriation bill of the full budget will be passed on April 30.

Today the Assembly was adjourned twice till 3 pm as opposition Congress and BJP members created ruckus over irregularities in conduct of Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) meeting which has not been held for last five years.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, while putting a supplementary question to SC and ST Development Minister Ramesh Majhi wanted to know when the next TAC meeting would be held.

In his reply, the Minister did not specify the next meeting schedule.

The Minister also said the TAC has not met in the last five years when it should meet twice a year as per the guidelines.

Upset over the Minister’s reply, the angry Congress members led by Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati trouped into the Well of the House and shouted slogans demanding holding of the TAC meeting at the earliest under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Unable to run the House, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat first adjourned the House at 10.38 am till 11.30 am. When the House reassembled at 11.30 am, there was no improvement in the situation as both Congress and BJP members created ruckus in the Well of House forcing the Speaker to suspend the proceedings till 3 pm.

The House also could not transact business for three consecutive days on March 26, 27 and 28 over delay in Lokayukta appointment.

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