Odisha Budget session to be held with Covid curbs

Even though the Covid-19 situation has improved in the state, the budget session of Odisha Assembly will be held with strict adherence to Covid restrictions, Speaker S.N. Patro said here on Tuesday.

After holding an all party meeting, Patro said, “For the greater interest of the health of all members, officials and journalists, we have to obey the Covid-19 rules and restrictions. So, this session will also be conducted under Covid-19 restrictions.” The House will meet for five hours each working day, he said.

“All restrictions that were applicable earlier shall remain in force and seating arrangements will be made in accordance with the social distance norms. Everyone will be tested for Covid-19 before the session,” said government chief whip Pramila Mallick.

Bishnu Sethi, BJP deputy leader in the House, said they have demanded to increase the number of adjournment motions to seven. However, the Speaker rejected it, he said.

Similarly, leader of the Congress legislative party, Narasingha Mishra said he has requested the Speaker to allow the journalists into the House for coverage. Otherwise, they are unable to give accurate information about the assembly to the public. However, the Speaker has not agreed with the proposal, Mishra said.

The budget session will start on March 26 with the address of Governor Ganeshi Lal. Finance minister Niranjan Pujari will present the budget (vote-on-account) for the year 2022-23 on March 30 and the Appropriation Bill on vote-on-account will be tabled on March 31.

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