Budget session of Bihar legislature begins today

Published on Feb 24, 2022 10:03 PM IST

The budget session of the Bihar legislature will start on Friday with the Governor’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, after which the Bihar Economic Survey report will be laid.

Security checks at Bihar Assembly on Thursday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Security checks at Bihar Assembly on Thursday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
By, Patna

The budget session of the Bihar legislature will start on Friday with the Governor’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, after which the Bihar Economic Survey report will be laid.

The budget for 2022-23 will be laid on Monday.

Apart from the routine business, quite a few bills my also be tabled during the session, which will end on March 31 and comprise 22 sittings.

One of the most talked about bill is regarding prohibition, which was imposed in the state in April 2016. Though officials are tight-lipped about contents of the proposed bill, chief minister Nitish Kumar has been attacking those criticising prohibition during his ongoing “Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan (social reforms campaign}”. “They say people are dying due to prohibition. What they should say is that they are dying due to spurious liquor. I also say spurious liquor causes death and to prevent such deaths, just stay away from liquor, as you never know who will offer spurious stuff to make a fast buck,” he said on Wednesday, indicating people should not expect any leniency as long he was there.

Bills related to the urban and housing development department,for which an ordinance was brought earlier, and finance department are also likely. The education department may also come up with a bill for the Bihar State University Service Commissions. “This is a month-long session, so some other bills may also be in the pipeline. Bills usually come during the last leg of the session,” said an official.

Going by the Opposition’s tone and tenor, the session, like previous ones, could once be stormy.

RJD legislator Bhai Virendra said the opposition would raise issues that confront the masses, including rampant availability of liquor despite prohibition and under patronage of the people with clout, corruption, special status demand, caste census, unemployment and law and order. “Our aim is not to disrupt House, but to raise public issues and seek clear answers. If the government does listen to us, it means they don’t want opposition voices. We cannot allow democracy to be put in danger. We are not there just to hear smooth talk of CM,” he said.

Parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said the government would like to answer all the questions of the opposition meaningfully, provided they are raised as per prescribed rules of the House, and would hope the Opposition to be patient enough to get the responses. “Parliamentary affairs department has alerted all the departments to be in ready mode to answer questions from members in both the Houses. This is a crucial session and there should be healthy discussions and debates on important issues,” he said.

At the all-party meeting on Thursday, the Speaker also said that the Budget session was always very important and he would like meaningful debates and discussions on issues concerning the masses to take place in the House.

When some leaders drew his attention on delay in sending replies to their letters despite government provisions and sought his intervention, he termed it a serious matter and against the dignity of the House and assured proper action in this regard. He also assured to look into the leaders’ demand that their representatives be allowed to participate in meetings at the block, district or state level if they were unable to do so due to their engagement due to some unavoidable work.

“There is need to uphold the dignity of the House with disciplined behaviour while raising issues of public importance effectively so that the house could transact its business smoothly. It is my responsibility to see that the rights of the members are not infringed. Not replying timely to the letters of legislators is a serious matter and the executives cannot ignore it. They are also public servants and they must fully cooperate,” he said.

The Speaker said a committee would be formed in the Legislative Assembly on the lines of the Lok Sabha to select the best legislator. “It is an initiative to inspire all members to contribute in making the House more and more effective and meaningful,” he said. All the leaders of different parties also assured cooperation in running the House smoothly.

In view of recovery of liquor from the assembly premises ahead of last session, the Speaker said security would be tightened and anybody suspected to be under the influence of any intoxicant, be it liquor, charas, opium or narcotics substances, would be thoroughly examined. He also asked the media persons to cooperate in maintaining security so that past episodes were not repeated. “Recovery of liquor from the premises was bad and whatever was be required would be done to maintain security,” he said.

To beef up security, additional CCTV cameras have been installed in the premises and policemen have been asked to remain vigilant to prevent entry of liquor or any intoxicant inside the premises. The policemen have been asked to move around on foot to keep tabs on unscrupulous elements who might throw even empty bottles to draw media’s attention and create ruckus in the House.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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