BHUBANESWAR: Uncertainty over the timing of the Budget Session of the Assembly continues even as Speaker Niranjan Pujari convenes an all-party meeting on Monday to discuss the issue.
Besides the schedule of the Budget Session, the meeting will also discuss the State Government’s proposal to place a vote-on-account for the first three months of 2016-17 and go for the regular Budget for the State after presentation of the Union Budget.
Finance Minister Pradip Amat told this paper that the State Government will proceed in the matter by taking all political parties into confidence. A final picture will emerge only after the meeting, he said.
Sources, however, maintained that the State Government will present its Budget after taking into account Central allocation for the State in 2016-17 Union Budget. This has become necessary as the State Government will have to provide resources for some of the Centrally-sponsored schemes, assistance for which was either slashed or stopped altogether by the Centre in 2015-16.
The State Government has raised a loan of Rs 3,500 crore from the open market in view of the financial crunch. The size of the State Budget can be decided only after the quantum of the Central assistance is known after presentation of the Union Budget.
The Finance Minister said that the State Government had to bear extra financial burden for implementation of Central schemes after Centre stopped assistance. He, however, refused to elaborate over the timing of the Budget Session of the Assembly.
Besides Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra, Opposition chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati will attend the all-party meeting. The BJP will be represented by State unit president Basant Panda, who is also the Leader of the BJP Legislature Party (BJPLP).
Bahinipati said the Congress will deliberate on the annual Budget prepared by the State Government and give suggestions for overall development of Odisha.
Sources said the Assembly Secretariat will submit a fresh proposal to the State Government to convene the Budget session basing on the decision taken at the meeting. Earlier, the Assembly had proposed to start the Budget Session from February 9.