No Question Hour in Odisha Assembly Winter Session

Bhubaneswar: Like  the Monsoon Session, Winter Session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA), scheduled to begin from November 20, will have no Question Hour, informed Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro after an all-party meeting held today.

Briefing mediapersons,  Patro said the House will run for four-and-a-half hours everyday in adherence to all COVID-19 protocols. The Interim Budget will be tabled on the first day of the session November 20.

Sitting arrangements have been made keeping in view of the COVID-19 guidelines and senior MLAs will have the option to join the House through video conference.

The following decisions were taken at the all-party meeting:    

  • On the first day of the fifth session, adjournment of the House for first half/day after obituary references for former Speaker late Sarat Kar, some ex-members police personnel.
  • There will be no Question Hour during the entire fifth Session.
  • There will be sitting on Saturday/Sunday.
  • Sitting arrangements for Members in Assembly Hall, visitors’ gallery, DV Gallery and Speaker’s Gallery.
  • Time of each sitting day (11AM /10.30 AM to 1 PM & 3 PM to 5 PM.).
  • Members as well as Ministers will participate in the debate by standing/ sitting in their respective seats.
  • Similarly Ministers will give answers by standing/ sitting in their respective seats.
  • Participation of Members in House through video conference at OCAC Bhubaneswar, Conference Halls of the Lok Seva Bhawan, residential office of  Chief Minister, Minister’s/Leader of Opposition/ Members and office of respective Collectors, where Video Conference system have been installed.
  • No papers, reports etc. are to be distributed among Members in the House except urgent nature i.e. amendments to Bill, reply of Minister etc.
  • There will be discussion on Demands for Grants on November 26, 27 and 28 and Appropriation Bill on the First Supplementary Statement of Expenditure for 2020 on November 29.   
  • Circulation of Supplementary Budget documents/papers among the Members 
  • Issuance of entry passes to representatives of  Press (print & electronic media) to Assembly premises.
  • No Lobby passes to be issued to any press or TV representatives other than  Members.
  • All such papers etc. will be distributed by Daks to Members to their respective quarters.
  • Health and Family Welfare Department to supply Corona preventive kit to Members/ Media people/ Officers and Staff of OLA Secretariat who will enter the Assembly Hall.
  • Sanitisation of Assembly Hall and premises daily by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

However, Opposition BJP and Congress have strongly opposed the decision to suspend the Question Hour. Leader of Opposition (LoP) Pradipta Kumar Naik said a number of issues including drinking water woes, inadequacy of doctors and teachers, deteriorating law and order, hike in power tariff and border tension will be raised during the session.

Similarly, terming the the decision as undemocratic, Congress senior MLA Narasingha Mishra said the party will raise issues like paddy procurement irregularities, unemployment, COVID-19 kit procurement scam, rise in pawer tariff and drug smuggling  in the fifth session of House.

 

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