Odisha budget session from February 18
The budget session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly will commence from February 18 and will continue till April 9.
Unlike the last session which was held when the Covid-19 pandemic had forced the suspension of the Question Hour, the budget session will give legislators the opportunity to ask questions and seek replies from the government.
While the budget will be tabled in the House on February 22, the Appropriation Bill will be presented on March 31. The session will have 31 working days.
Like the Union budget, the state budget will also be “green” and presented in the digital mode for the first time. Members will send their questions online using the National E-Vidhan mobile application.
Work is in the full swing for the upgradation of the E-Vidhan Sabha at a cost of Rs 8.56 crore. The Centre will bear 60 per cent of the cost.
“All the officers and staff working in the Odisha Assembly have already been trained by the Odisha Computer Application Centre in a bid to make the Vidhan Sabha paperless,” said a senior official.
Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro said although there is marked improvement in the pandemic situation, there will be restrictions for the legislators on the Assembly premises with some relaxation in Covid-19 guidelines.
“As decided, Covid-19 test will not be mandatory for MLAs prior to their entry into the Assembly premises. However, if any member has any symptoms, he or she will have to undergo the antigen test,” Patro said.
The Speaker said if any MLA or minister is not willing to physically attend the session, they can participate in the discussion through videoconferencing from their office.