Govt to skip small session, go for budget session from Jan 2 or 3

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 9: The Government has decided to go directly for budget session of the Legislature from January 2 or 3, 2017 and skip small session of few days, which was generally held in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, before shifting of the Civil Secretariat here.
As per the Constitutional requirement, the Legislature must meet once in six months. Budget session of this year was held in Srinagar. While Assembly had adjourned on June 30, the Legislative Council had adjourned sine die on July 2.
Taking July 2 as last date of the Legislature, the Government has decided that budget session of the Legislature will start on January 2 or 3 next year.
Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta confirmed to the Excelsior that there will be no second session of the Legislature this year and the Government has decided to advance budget session which would start on January 2 or 3 to meet Constitutional requirement of convening both Houses of the Legislature within six months.
“We will skip the small session and start with the budget session on January 2 or 3, which will meet Constitutional requirement,” Gupta said, adding that in view of death anniversary of former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed on January 7, the reply of Chief Minister to Governor’s Address and budget would be presented after that (January 7).
Official sources told the Excelsior that it would be a month long budget session as usual with Finance Minister presenting budget after the Chief Minister’s reply to the Governor’s Address. The date of presentation of budget in second week of January has been left to Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu. The calendar would be prepared after the Finance Minister gives the date for presentation of budget.
However, the State Cabinet had to take decision on calling the budget session in first week of January after getting a note from the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry headed by PDP leader Abdul Rehman Veeri in consultations with Legislative Council Chairman Haji Inayat Ali and Speaker Kavinder Gupta.
“Only after Cabinet gives its mandatory nod to convening of budget session that further process for the session including its duration, date for presentation of budget and other business would be released by the Speaker and the Chairman for Assembly and Council respectively,” sources said but added that calling the Legislature session was necessity in view of the Constitutional requirement.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would be presenting Centre’s budget in the Parliament on February 1 next year as against normal practice of February 28. The budget session has been advanced in view of upcoming Assembly polls to five States including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
Asserting that this year also, the PDP-BJP coalition Government had called budget session of the Legislature from January 18, sources said next year it has been advanced only by a fortnight. However, this year’s budget session was deferred after the death of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7 and delay in formation of next Government. The new PDP-BJP Government headed by Mehbooba Mufti was formed on April 4 and budget session was held in June in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State.
Normally the budget session is held in Jammu between January to March while a small autumn session in held in Srinagar in September-October. However, this year only one Legislature session will be held as budget session had ended on June 30 in Assembly and July 2 in Council and no other session could be held in Srinagar in September-October due to ongoing four month long unrest in the Valley.
Now, to meet six month requirement of holding Legislature session, the Government would call budget session from January 2 or 3.
This is after long time that only one session of the Legislature will be held in a year.


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