Pondy Assembly session likely on Monday

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The Puducherry Legislative Assembly is likely to be reconvened on August 22 for presenting annual budget for 2022-23. 

According to a government source, the Assembly in all probability would be reconvened around 9.30 a. m on Monday. The Chief Minister would be presenting his fourteenth budget as Finance Minister of the Union Territory, he said.

“On reconvening, the only agenda will be the presentation of the budget. The discussion on the motion of thanks to Lt Governor’s address will be taken up the following day. The session is likely to be very short, “ a ruling party member told The Hindu.

The All India N. R. Congress-led National Democratic Alliance government had presented a vote on account of ₹3,613 crore in March to meet the expenditure needs of the administration for the first five months of the current financial year. 

The budget has to be approved by end of this month for the government to expenditure sanction, including for disbursement of salary and pensions. 

By this yardstick, the budget has to be passed by August 29 or 30, for the departments to submit the salary bills to the Directorate of Accounts and Treasury for crediting salary into the account as per schedule, said the member. 

The Assembly was convened on August 10 for the budget session but was adjourned the same day itself after the Lt Governor delivered her customary address as there was no clarity on getting approval from Centre for presenting the annual financial statement.

However, the following day, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs communicated to UT about the nod for the budget, though with a reduced outlay than approved by the Puducherry Planning Board. Though the board had fixed an outlay of ₹11,000 crore for the current fiscal, the Centre approved a budget for a little less than ₹10,700 crore.

The cabinet will meet shortly to approve the budget speech, sources said. 

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