IMPHAL, July 16: The discussion on budget estimate for the fiscal year 2014-15 commenced today with the Speaker of the House opening the discussion.
The discussion was participated by only three MLAs from the opposition bench including opposition leader, Dr Ibohalbi and MLAs L Ibomcha and Samuel Risom.
Dr Ibohalbi observed that the current budget estimate in all appearance lacks expert touch like an economist, planner etc. thus leaving an assumption that pre-budget discussions were not held before tabling the budget.
He opined that the budget failed to reflect sectors with huge potentials, like tourism and industries.
He considered the budget to be directionless.
He appealed the concerned minister to review the budget estimate.
The MLA also drew the attention of the Speaker of the House on the failure of the department heads to attend the Assembly session except for the State chief secretary.
Keisamthong MLA, L Ibomcha had pointed out that there was a major error in the resource mobilisation sector of the budget.
He elaborated that in the profession tax the budget has reflected only the government employees sidelining other professions like advocates, pharmacists, etc.
He appealed to the government to review the security allocation provided to ex-ministers, MLAs etc to avoid unnecessary drainage of public ex-chequer.
Meanwhile, in his response, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi clarified that the budget presented was only tentative and there is room for variations after thorough discussions in the days to come.
The Chief Minister also assured that agricultural lands in the State will be protected and further efforts will be invested to improve the resource mobilisation sector.