AP Assembly Budget Session from Monday

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly starts its budget session on Monday. A Vote On Account would be presented by the YSRC government, which has only two more months of life before the April-May polling season.

The budget session will be stormy as the opposition Telugu Desam plans to highlight the flaws of the ruling party.

Governor Justice (retired) S Abdul Nazeer issued separate notifications summoning the assembly and the legislative council to meet at 10am in the Assembly Hall on February 5. The session will begin with the Governor’s address of the joint session of the assembly and council.

The number of days the house will be in session will be decided after the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting. Sources say it may not last more than three days.

Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath would present the Vote on Account budget on Monday or February 6, for the first three months of the present fiscal -- April 1 to June 30. The election schedule is likely to be announced later this month.

This being the election year, the YSRC government is likely to lay fresh emphasis on welfare schemes and earmark more funds for these.

The YSRC legislators would highlight the welfare schemes and development programmes of the Jagan Reddy-led government in the last five years. The chief minister has instructed the ministers and legislators to make “good use” of the assembly session to improve the image of the government.

Recently, at the Siddham mega meeting at Dendulur, the chief minister urged the audience to vote for the YSRC for an increase in the social security pension and for continuation of all the welfare schemes.

YSRC sources said that during the present assembly session, the chief minister might hint at a loan waiver for formers and other sops to thwart the plans of the opposition parties to woo the voters on the lines of Karnataka, and to consolidate the YSRC vote bank.

The chief minister is studying a plan to offer free bus ride for women in APSRTC buses, as was done in Karnataka and Telangana states by the Congress governments. APSRTC submitted a report to the CM in this respect.

Its officials said in the report that APSRTC’s revenue was nearly `6,000 crore per annum. If free bus journeys are allowed for women, there would be a 30 to 40 per cent revenue loss. Jagan Reddy is likely to speak about the sops during the present assembly session after formulation of broad strategies.

On the other hand, the opposition TD is preparing to highlight the “failures” of the government on various fronts. The TD legislature party met on Sunday under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu. It decided to raise ten issues in the assembly and council.

TD would seek discussions on the debt-burden of the state, the issue of allotment of thousands of acres of land to benamis of government officials in the name of solar power projects, inappropriate release of subsidies, increase in electricity charges, diversion of funds of local bodies and non-filling of vacant posts.

The TD would also raise the YSRC government's failure in handing over of land for the Visakha railway zone, the “failure” to declare drought zones and the government's “negligence” in supporting the farmers affected by the Michaung typhoon, the TIDCO houses issue, and corruption in barytes mines, sand and TDR bonds issuance.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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