A short duration of 1 3 – d a y budget session of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly that is commencing on February 4 will showcase the political will of the state’s BJP government for executing good governance practices delivering the services to the people efficiently and honestly. This is not the first time that such a short session has been convened due to Lok Sabha polls to be concluded by the end of May. In 2014 too, the then government convened a 14-day budget session due to Lok Sabha polls. This area of functioning of the is required to boost the image of the BJP government, which has just been banking upon the programme of Jan Manch for the redressal of grievances of the masses restricted the particular pocket, where such programmes are being organized once or twice a week that too on Sundays, the holidays. The working of the state government has to be assessed by the leaders themselves who are at the helm of affairs in the government. Whether, the Ministers or the Chairmen or the Vicechairmen of the government organizations have done justice to the grievances that reached them, or they themselves became the party has to be realized by them. All governments have been have been patting their backs in the past and if the present government also does the same on February 4 through the Governor’s address will not be surprise. On the financial front, the Jai Ram Thakur government has already opened its ‘magic bag’ through the maiden budget presented during the last budget session in 2018. That budget depicted more or less 30 new schemes and projects those would be implemented in the present tenure of the BJP government. More so, many new projects have also been envisaged in the past one year that resulted in getting the clearance of Rs nearly 10,000 crore for them from the Union government. If the BJP government announces more new schemes in budget proposals on February 9, the financial situation may further deteriorate.
However, the Himachal Pradesh State Planning Board has approved an annual plan of Rs 7,100 crore for 2019-20 at its meeting recently chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. This is an increase of Rs 800 crore from the current year’s annual plan of Rs 6,300 crore, thereby registering an increase of 12.7 percent. This has not shown the innovation as the structure of the plan has not been changed or modified. This gives an indication that there will be 13 to 15 percent increase in the budget for 2019-20 over the current year’s budget. For the current financial year Thakur had proposed Rs 41,440 crore budget proposals with deficit of Rs 7,821 crore. The public debts had been shown at Rs 46,500 crore, which is likely to increase. Though the opposition Congress with 21 members and the only CPM member is just half in number of the treasury benches, yet it has planned to raise many issues of alleged irregularities, mismanagement and inefficient working and dishonesty. Such issues had already been raised up in December last during the short session. However, the opposition will raise the new issues pertaining to interim budget of Union government. More so, the opposition has to raise the voice against the real issues of the state. However, the Congress leaders have no guts to do so as the present government in many areas has been following the steps marked by the previous government. The budget for 2019- 20 has to follow the foot prints of the Union budget, or its previous budget or there will new direction to clearly depict the structural changes in the administrative working, changes in institutional restructuring of the public and the government sectors, with emphasis on various innovations to bring in efficiency, honesty, showcasing will to do and consolidating the gains of the implemented schemes and their continuation in the next year. Also, both the opposition and the treasury (ruling) leaders have to show their public behaviour and good intentions for the wellbeing and wellness of the general masses during the current budget session which will have impact on attracting the votes for their candidates in the general parliamentary polls. The key of getting support of the electorate lies on the performance of the government and the opposition leaders and their public behaviour.
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