Gairsain: The opposition Congress created a ruckus in the Uttarakhand Assembly over the issue of Lokayukta bill on Monday even as the House passed an annual budget of Rs 45,585.09 crore by voice vote before being adjourned sine die.
A total of 17 legislations were passed during the budget session of the state Assembly which lasted for six days.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant later told reporters that the budget session was highly productive with 17 new legislations being passed and 12 legislations becoming Acts.
The proceedings of the House which ran for six days lasted for a total of 26 hours and 13 minutes, he said.
The budgetary provisions this year were 14.08 per cent more than the ones presented last year, Pant said, adding that the budget laid emphasis on infrastructure development, disaster management, school education, agriculture and women empowerment, he added. It earmarked a sum of Rs 6,741 crore for school education, Rs 2,053.92 crore for the roads and bridges department, Rs 1,148. 26 crore for disaster management, Rs 966.68 crore for agriculture, Rs 862.84 crore for drinking water and Rs 773.20 crore for housing and urban development.
It also allocated Rs 513.13 crore for higher education, Rs 319 crore for alternative energy and Rs 183.37 crore for tourism. The budget made provisions for an accidental insurance scheme for Asha and ANM workers, an Ayush research institute, Metro rail link-related works and loans for farmers.
The Congress today vehemently raised the issue of Lokayukta inside and outside the Assembly, saying the state government's failure to constitute the anti-corruption body was a mockery of its policy of zero tolerance to graft.
The party created a ruckus in the House when their demand for a detailed discussion on the issue under Rule 310 was turned down by Speaker Prem Chand Agarwal.
They rushed to the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans and insisted on a debate on the issue, prompting the speaker to adjourn the proceedings twice for half an hour each time.
When the House reassembled after the adjournments, pandemonium ensued again. However, the proceedings were held amid the continuing din with the Appropriation Bill on the annual budget passed by voice vote and the House being adjourned sine die.
Led by Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh, Congress MLAs also held a procession outside the Assembly over Lokayukta.
"The in-House panel constituted to look into the Lokayukta bill has already submitted its report. However, despite that the legislation is not being brought in the Assembly," Hridayesh said, adding it was a "mockery" of the state government's much publicised policy of zero tolerance to corruption.
"If you have a policy of zero tolerance to corruption then why are you shying away from passing the Lokayukta legislation and constituting the anti-corruption ombudsman?" she asked. Rubbishing the opposition charge, Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat said the state government's one year in office had been absolutely clean and corruption-free even without the existence of a Lokayukta.