State finance minister Rajendra Prasad Singh presents the supplementary budget on Friday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Aug. 1: The state government today tabled a Rs 1,956.36 crore supplementary budget amid cheers from Trinamul Congress (TMC) MLAs who were granted “recognition” in the Assembly on the first day of monsoon session.
Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta formally announced in the House that Rashtriya Kalyan Paksha’s lone MLA Chamra Linda and Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch’s legislator Bandhu Tirkey had merged their political outfits with the TMC in March. “TMC general secretary Mukul Roy also confirmed that these MLAs now belonged to their party and requested that the TMC be recognised as a legislature party in Jharkhand, which has been acceded to,” said the Speaker.
The support of two TMC legislators Linda and Tirkey has been crucial for the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition government, surviving on a wafer-thin majority. And, today’s recognition was more of a formality.
Finance minister Rajendra Prasad Singh presented the first supplementary budget of the current fiscal to carry forward rural projects and step up preparations for the Assembly elections likely to be held by the end of this year.
A whopping Rs 110 crore out of the Rs 1,956.36 crore has been set aside to ensure smooth conduct of the Vidhan Sabha polls.
While Rs 10 crore has been allotted for hiring choppers and aircraft during the polls, another Rs 23 crore has been allocated to the office of the chief electoral officer to take care of different types of administrative jobs. Also, Rs 2 crore has been made available for issuing new voter identity cards.
This apart, the funds have been sanctioned for the settlement of expenses incurred during the recent Lok Sabha elections and meet the requirements of the home department in providing security and logistics for the polls.
Major beneficiaries of the supplementary budget are the rural works department (Rs 761 crore), the energy department (Rs 150 crore) and the panchayati raj department (Rs 416 crore).
“Socio-economic growth of weaker sections tops our priority. So we have tried to ensure that the state’s financial constraints don’t undermine development of rural areas,” said the finance minister.
The House will debate on the supplementary budget tomorrow. JVM legislature party leader Pradeep Yadav demanded that the duration of the debate be increased so that all the members could express their views.
Before adjourning for the day, the condoled deaths of eminent personalities, including former Union ministers Gopinath Munde and Tapan Sikdar, former Bihar Vidhan Parishad chairman Tara Kant Jha, celebrated author Khushwant Singh, actor Johra Sehagal. This apart, the legislators also paid tributes to those who died in social tensions in Chanho recently and poll officials and securitymen killed in a Maoist ambush in Dumka during the Lok Sabha elections.