Bhubaneswar: As Odisha Governor yesterday summoned the 16th Legislative Assembly for its Budget Session from February 18, the Covid test before entry has not been made a must this time as had been earlier during the Monsoon and Winter sessions amid the pandemic protocols that had to be followed very strictly then.
This was stated today by Odisha Assembly Speaker Surya Narayan Patro during his press briefs.
The Speaker told media, “The Assembly session will begin from February 18. Hon’ble Governor will address the House on the day. Hon’ble Finance Minister will present the Annual Budget on February 22 while discussion on the Budget will be from February 25. Appropriation Bill will be presented on March 30. The Assembly is of 30-31 days’ duration.”
He informed, “Our Covid restrictions haven’t been lifted, but relaxed. Social distancing will be maintained in the House. The mandatory Covid test before entry won’t be done. In case of any symptoms like cold and cough, fever, etc observed at the entrance, the person has to undergo antigen test. Rest all the procedures will be followed. Before the session, an all-party meeting will be convened and the necessary procedures to be followed would be conveyed and finalized on the day.”
He further informed, “The video-conferencing facility, if applied earlier, will also be made available to a legislator or minister as had been earlier as it is a part of the social distancing norm. Everyday regular sanitization of both the premises and House will be religiously done. The required media persons will be invited as had been the usual practice.”
“Now we are having e-assembly, no more hard files. The MLAs, if opt for, can submit questions and answers, submissions etc online. But the answers sought will be provided toi the MLAs both online and hard copy. Till the necessary training on complete handing of e-assembly is imparted, both the procedures will be adopted.
However, Budget will be provided on pen drive. But, the Finance Minister will read out the Budget at the time of presentation. This time there will be Question Hour and others as usual like the normal House proceedings,” clarified the Speaker.