Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The thirteenth Assembly of Orissa is to commence its eleventh session today to proceed with the state budget for 2007-08.
Both sides have strengthened their arsenals in respective legislative party wings to make the session susceptible to their political purposes.
Though the session is basically financial, from what the legislative wings got prepared for yesterday, one may infer that political gains of the parties rather than financial emancipation of the people would be the driving factor behind the debates.
Scheduled to be presented in the 2nd half of today, the Budget would be taken up for general discussion in the first stage from 5th June to 8th and after a break for stocktaking by standing committees from 9th June to 24th, voting of demands for grants in the second stage would commence from 26th June following submission and circulation of reports of the standing committees on 25th. The Appropriation Bill is scheduled for 12th July 2007.
As indicated by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, only one Official Bill is programmed to be adopted during the session. And that is an amendment on Orissa Municipal Act. Not known for sure, but a confidential source informs that in this amendment endeavor will be made to insert such provisions that may render the Supreme Court verdict to free the urban areas, specifically Bhubaneswar from cowherds inconsequential.
Let us wait and watch.