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Upcoming Budget session: Vijai, Khaunte object to ‘omission’ of questions

Panaji: Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai and Porvorim legislator Rohan Khaunte have both stated that the questions submitted by them for being taken up during the upcoming budget session of the state legislative assembly, have been either edited or omitted from the list.

Khaunte has also written a letter to the Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly Rajesh Patnekar and the secretary of the legislature department Namrata Ulman seeking clarification about the same.

Sardesai told this daily that the government has already skipped the winter session of the House and reduced its budget session to 5 days, and now further omitting the questions submitted by opposition MLAs. “The Speaker’s Office has a right to omit the questions by giving reasons such as length of the question or unavailability of the information linked to the answer,” he added, pointing out that this kind of decision is however not in the interest of the assembly.

“Efforts should be made to increase the quality of debates and discussion in the House,” Sardesai maintained, stating that Mhadei, mining and money that is financial position of the state should be the issues of discussion, during the budget session of the assembly.

He also said that the government is setting wrong tradition of seeking ‘Vote on Account’ vis-à-vis budget, when the entire budget should have been debated and passed at the budget session itself.

“During last two years, the government had sought ‘Vote on Account’ as the then chief minister was sick, but now the government has no health problems,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Khaunte in his letter said, “I would like to invite your kind attention to the set of questions (starred and un-starred), which I had tabled on January 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14, 2020, on various departments, and are (now) omitted and edited from the list of legislative assembly starred questions at the eleventh session, 2020.”

“I would like to bring to your kind notice that the starred questions on finance and education which are to be answered by the Chief Minister are edited and omitted without giving any information,” the letter maintains, pointing out, “I therefore desire to know the reasons for omission of questions as these questions are very important.”

“Kindly check the questions I had raised for all 5 days of the forthcoming assembly session and do the needful corrections, so that the objective of the questions raised is not lost,” the letter states.

The budget session of the state legislative assembly is scheduled from February 3 to 7.

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