Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The budget session of Odisha Assembly will begin today. As per the earlier notification, the budget session will be held in two phases and will continue till May 20. There will be 33 working days in the session.

The first phase will end on March 31 while the second phase will begin from April 26 and conclude on May 20, the notification said.

Finance minister Pradeep Kumar Amat will present the budget for the financial year 2016-17 on March 18. The Finance minister will present the Appropriation Bill for two months while the draft of the full budget for the remaining 10 months will be sent to the Assembly Standing Committee, which would give its suggestions by April 25.

Government sources have earlier revealed the State will be forced to take loans from the open market as the revenue collection target has not been achieved during the 2015-16 fiscal.

Besides, a cut in the Central allocation to States in the Union Budget and changes in the Centre’s share under different schemes will also affect the State Budget.

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said “The Agriculture Cabinet Committee has directed the Planning & Coordination department, Finance department, Agriculture and Farmers empowerment department, and other related departments to enhance the outlay for the Agriculture budget.”

The focus areas of the agriculture budget will be to increase the area under irrigation and reduce the gap between irrigation potential available in the State and the actual area brought under irrigation so far, Patnaik had stated.