Gandhinagar: The month-long budget session of the Gujarat Assembly will commence on March 2, marking the first budget of the new BJP team led by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Gujarat finance minister Kanubhai Desai will present the budget for fiscal 2022-23 on March 3.
Assembly elections in Gujarat are scheduled towards the year end and the new BJP team under Bhupendra Patel will be presenting it’s first and this assembly’s last budget.
The month-long budget session will begin on March 2 and the budget will be presented on March 3. The session will conclude on March 31.
As per sources, the budget is likely to be populist with this being an election year, and the BJP government which had received much flak during the second wave of Covid last year, would definitely like to lure the voters with a bag full of goodies.
A special focus on OBCs is likely, as it is the traditional vote bank of the party. The Patidar community is now divided on three fronts, with the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the BJP bastion state. The Arvind Kejriwal led party has made big dents in the BJP bastion of the Patidar community in the state, which has seen the saffron party ruling since more than two and a half decades.
On the other hand, the main opposition Congress will also try to corner the government on a number of issues like unemployment, rising crimes and the worsening law and order situation in the state.
An interesting fact is that this will the first budget for not only all the ministers, including CM Bhupendra Patel and Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai but also for the entirely new opposition team, led by the new LOP Sukhram Rathwa. The grand old party’s Gujarat unit has also been strengthened by the entry of the independent legislator from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani.
There is also the possibility that the central government may increase financial allocation to the state, thereby aiding the present government to increase grants for education, health, social justice, empowerment and agriculture in its first budget.
The 22-day session will see an increase in grants from the Department of Education, Health, Social Justice and Empowerment, and the Department of Agriculture.
The assembly session will begin with Governor Acharya Devvrat’s address to the House on March 2.
During the month long session, there will be 21 working days, where five day sessions will be having two sittings.
The budget will be debated in the assembly for four days. This will be followed by a three-day discussion on the Governor’s address as well as a two-day discussion on the supplementary demands of various departments.
According to the available information, the government might bring in certain legislation, but there is no certainty about how many. On Wednesday, two legislations will be tabled, The Organic Agriculture University Reform Bill and the Gujarat Land Acquisition Prevention Amendment Bill.
The Congress will try to corner the government on various issues. The house debate will last for 12 days to discuss the budget demands. During the 4-day discussion on government bills, the state government will pass research bills as required in various laws. The session will end on March 31 with a final day proposal.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, special arrangements are being made to ensure physical distancing, although the Gujarat government on Monday issued fresh guidelines giving many relaxations owing to the decrease in the number of daily cases and deaths.