Uttar Pradesh Assembly's Budget Session to commence from Thursday
Lucknow, Feb 17: The Budget Session of the Uttar Pradesh legislature will begin with Governor Anandiben Patel's address to a joint sitting of both houses on Thursday. The Yogi Adityanath government is slated to table its annual budget for 2021-22 on Monday.
In the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, all preparations are being made to conduct the COVID-19 tests of the MLAs, MLCs and other staff members, including the security personnel. The speaker of the Assembly, who convened a meeting on Tuesday, said the COVID-19 tests of the legislators are going on while the process for the staff members of the House has been completed.
The Assembly secretariat had issued a circular, making it mandatory for all MLAs and MLCs to undergo a COVID-19 test before the commencement of the Budget Session. All district magistrates (DMs) and chief medical officers (CMOs) were directed to make arrangements for the COVID tests for the legislators in their respective districts.
This would be the first time that the budget will be paperless and printed copies will not be available. All the legislators will get the budget document on their iPads and the budget literature will only be available on the Assembly's website.
Legislators were also given training to help them use the iPads smoothly. Besides the presentation of the annual budget, the government is also likely to table important bills, including the all-important one replacing the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which was promulgated with the approval of the governor in November last year.
The state cabinet had earlier approved the draft ordinance to curb forcible or "dishonest" religious conversions, including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties are preparing to grill the government on pressing issues, particulary those relating to the ongoing farmer protests, law and order, the tackling of the coronavirus pandemic, among others.
For the second consecutive time, mediapersons will not be allowed access to the press gallery. Two LED screens have been put up in the Tilak Hall, from where they can watch the proceedings. According to the tentative programme schedule of the Assembly, the session is likely to continue till March 10.