The Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government’s maiden budget session will commence in Chandigarh on Friday, with opposition parties gearing up to launch an offensive against the ruling AAP over law and order and other issues.
Members of the House will assemble on Friday for obituary references and motion of thanks on the Governor’s address, followed by a discussion on it. Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema will present the budget for 2022-23 on June 27, and the general discussion on the budget will take place thereafter. According to the tentative schedule, the budget session will continue till June 30.
Opposition Congress, the BJP and the SAD have targeted the Mann government over alleged deteriorating law and order situation, especially in the wake of last month’s gruesome killing of popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala. They have also slammed the state government over “unfulfilled promises”. Meanwhile, the chief minister had last month said that his government would present a paperless budget.
Notably, the Punjab assembly in March had passed a vote-on-account for the first three months (April-June) of the financial year 2022-23. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in March after winning 92 of the 117 Punjab assembly segments in the state. The AAP government had sought suggestions from the general public for the state budget, which minister Cheema had said would be a “Janta” budget (people’s budget).
Notably, the ruling dispensation had received suggestions from public to allocate more funds in education, health and agriculture sectors, which sources said, are among the key focus areas of the state government which will reflect in the next week’s budget.
The challenge for AAP, which had in the run up to the assembly polls blamed previous regimes of pushing the state into a fiscal mess, will be to get the state economy back on track. Mann had recently said the AAP government’s focus was to provide jobs to youth, develop schools and hospitals, and eradicate corruption and mafia, to make the state ’Rangla’ (vibrant) Punjab again.