The Andhra Pradesh government is likely to hold a one-day Budget session in the Assembly on May 20, according to reports. The government is yet to officially make an announcement in this regard and the Business Advisory Committee is also yet to be notified about the session.
The government had earlier planned to conduct the session in March. However, owing to multiple reasons including local body elections, the Tirupati bye-poll and the prevailing COVID-19 crisis, it had to be deferred.
Drawing flak from the opposition, for the second time, the government promulgated an ordinance in March this year, without conducting a Budget session. The ordinance had authorised an expenditure of Rs 70,983 crore for a few months of the 2021-22 financial year. The ordinance will expire in June. Due to this, the government wants a full Budget session which would allow the finance ministry to release budgets to various departments.
Faulting the governmentâ€™s decision to promulgate an ordinance and disregard a Budget session, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and former Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in a statement had earlier said, â€śThis is nothing but bankruptcy of the government. It only exposes the gross contempt of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government towards the people, the legislature and the opposition parties. Getting the Budget approved through an ordinance is an evil tradition set in by the Jagan regime.â€ť
Meanwhile, to curb the spread of COVID-19, the state is under a partial lockdown since May 5. The curfew is in place until May 18. As per the restrictions, all shops, business establishments, offices, restaurants and educational institutions will be open only for seven hours between 6 am and 12 noon.
Under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC), the state has prohibited gathering of the public. Essential services like hospitals, diagnostic labs, pharmacies, and other emergency services have been exempted from the curfew.