Bungling over agri 'Budget'

Bungling over agri
Highlights

TDP creates furore, says it is unconstitutional Anam admits 'mistake', says it's not a separate...

  • bun2
  • TDP creates furore, says it is unconstitutional
  • Anam admits 'mistake', says it's not a separate budget but only an Action Plan
  • Speaker to pronounce his ruling on Wednesday
  • JP serves notice of privilege motion
Hyderabad: The introduction of a separate policy paper on agriculture created a furore in the Assembly on Monday as the entire opposition stood up and alleged that in its attempt to project itself as pro- farmer, the government had resorted to subversion of rules and had hoodwinked the farmers. The opposition, apart from demanding an explanation, wanted to know how the Speaker had allowed such violation of rules. They said it was unconstitutional to present a separate budget for the farming sector. Admitting the mistake, Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy explained that it was not a separate budget but just 'Agricultural Action Plan'. When a dissatisfied opposition pressed for the Speaker's ruling on the "blunder" committed by the government, Nadendla Manohar assured that he would study the rule position and give his ruling on Wednesday. As soon as Agrticulture Minister Kanna Laxminarayana started reading out the document, TDP MLAs rushed to the well of the House. Showing the copies of the book they said it clearly says, 'Agricultural Budget speech.' The government had struck off the two words- "Budget Speech" with pen and wrote "Action Plan", after bringing the copies to the Assembly. The TDP MLAs demanded that the speaker make a clarification before the Minister proceeded with his presentation.A As the Speaker did not react even as the protests continued for nearly 20 minutes, the TDP members walked out of the House. The Minister took more time to read out the Action Plan than the time taken for the budget speech. Whereas Anam took exactly 70 minutes for his presentation, Kanna took 85 minutes to complete his speech. Later the TDP returned to the House and once again protested alleging that it was violation of norms. "It amounts to breach of our privilege. There is no precedent like this and the government has misled the people". Deputy floor leader Ashok Gajapati Raju said that the government appeared to be in a hurry to take the credit for the so-called agriculture budget since Chandrababu had announced that the TDP would introduce it if voted to power. Julakanti Rangareddy of the CPM and Bhooma Shobha Nagireddy of the YSRCP described the policy statement as a useless document and asked the Speaker to give his ruling on the violation of rules. "When it is not a budget, why the word 'Budget' was printed 72 times," G Kishen Reddy , BJP asked. Let the House sit for ten more days and discuss on agriculture, suggested Gunda Mallesh of the CPI. Lok Satta party leader Dr Jayaprakash Narayan gave a notice for breach of privilege against the government.A Anam ducked replies to a question as to why it took ten long years to decide to formulate a comprehensive plan for agriculture. He has also evaded a direct question why a nodal agency was not created for agriculture on the lines of SC, ST Sub-Plan when it was considering a separate policy.
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