BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD members created a ruckus in the Assembly by disrupting proceedings in the pre-lunch session of the House on Friday. The post lunch session was also disrupted by the Opposition Congress members who rushed to the well shouting slogans. No business could be transacted in the Assembly, which met for only 24 minutes, including two minutes in the pre-lunch session amidst noisy scenes. As soon as the House assembled for the day, BJD members shouted slogans from their seats for a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy following which the House was adjourned till 3 pm by Speaker Pradip Amat.
A delegation of BJD members went to the Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum, addressed to President of India Ram Nath Kovind, to Governor SC Jamir listing their demands. Criticising the Centre for increasing the MSP on paddy by `80 per quintal, senior BJD leaders including Debi Prasad Mishra told mediapersons that the party has also reiterated its demand for special category state status for Odisha. The BJD leaders also criticised the Centre for its tacit support to Chhattisgarh Government over the Mahanadi river water dispute with Odisha.
The BJD leaders maintained that flow of water into river Mahanadi in Odisha has been severely affected due to construction of barrages and dams in the upper reaches in Chhattisgarh.
Noisy scenes were witnessed in the House during the afternoon session as Congress members raised the issue of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) not giving an appointment to the House committee, led by the Speaker, to discuss the issue of MSP on paddy. Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for belittling the people of Odisha, Mishra said the House should express its protest over the issue.
Referring to the promise made by BJP in its election manifesto to increase MSP on paddy to one and a half times of its production cost, Mishra said the MSP was increased to only `1,550 per quintal. Stating that election manifesto is not scrap of paper, the MSP on paddy should have been raised to `3516 per quintal basing on the promise of the Prime Minister. Mishra said outside the House that discussion on an adjournment motion on farmers’ problem moved by Congress could not be taken up because of the disruption. A debate on the issue would have put both the ruling BJD and the BJP in an awkward position, he said.
F7207 cr power bills pending: Min
Bhubaneswar: Outstanding electricity bills against different categories of consumers have mounted to D7207.36 crore, said Energy Minister Prafulla Mallik in the Assembly on Friday. In a written reply to a question from Dilip Ray (BJP), the Minister said Wesco has the highest outstanding amount of D2703.82 crore followed by Nesco atD1961.63 crore, Cesu at D1678.16 crore and Southco D863.75 crore.
While different factories and plants have not paid electricity dues of D1258.45 crore, outstanding against business establishments is D650 crore. The Minister said, the highest outstanding of D4567.17 crore is pending against domestic consumers while BPL consumers have not paid bills amounting to 281.96 crore. Mallik said outstanding against different Government departments and institutions have reached D143.15 crore by July, 2017.