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16th Odisha Assembly's 1st Budget Session Begins, Governor Exhorts All For "New & Empowered Odisha"

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Bhubaneswar: Addressing the First session (budget session) of the newly-elected 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA), Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal reiterated that his Government will abide by the suggestions received from the people and work ceaselessly to provide totally citizen centric governance.

Congratulating the MLAs on their electoral success and welcoming them to the first session of 16th Odisha Assembly session, Prof Lal paid his condolences to the Late former Ministers Harihar Karan, Gangadhar Pradhan and Bed Prakash Agarwalla. He also paid tributes to brave martyrs Prasanna Kumar Sahoo, Manoj Kumar Behera and Ajit Sahoo.

The First Citizen of Odisha exhorted, "I would urge upon all of you to focus on our journey of transformation towards a new Odisha, an empowered Odisha where poverty will be a thing of the past, where women will be equal partners in growth and development, where growth will be inclusive of all vulnerable sections in its landscape of development and where the dreams of the youth will come true. We now need to make the world know that Odisha's time has come, and for all of us the time starts now."

“Cyclone FANI was one of the rarest of rare cyclones to hit Odisha in several years. It created havoc in Puri and Khurda. I take pride that my Government was fully prepared to battle the cyclone. 1.4 million people were evacuated in 24 hours. I also express gratitude to people of Odisha for their courage,” he said and also thanked other States for providing human resource to Odisha at the time of need.

“Water, electricity, boosting agriculture with irrigation facilities, improving health and education will continue to be the priorities of my Government,” he added.

“Working in this direction, my Government envisions that all farmers and landless agricultural labourers will be covered under KALIA scheme. This scheme will be continued as promised. My Government will provide interest free crop loans to small and marginal farmers up to Rs 1 lakh,” the Governor said.

He also stated that a Welfare Board will be formed by the State Government for those engaged in traditional livelihood earning means like priests, barbers, washermen, etc.

"My Government would like to carry forward the benefits accrued from 1st and 2nd editions of 'Make in Odisha' campaign in terms of investment and employability to the youth of Odisha. My Government will endeavour to create 30 lakh employment opportunities in 6 focus sectors. 75% of jobs will be reserved for qualified local youth in all upcoming industries in Odisha. The World Skill Centre will produce 1.5 lakh high skilled professionals, who will have global employable potential. 'Skilled in Odisha' will be made a global brand by my Government and 15 lakh youth will be skilled in the next 5 years," the Governor underlined. 

He also stated through his address, "Biju Express Way will connect North to South, East to West of Odisha. My Government will attempt to connect the heritage Silver City of Cuttack with Smart City of Bhubaneswar by metro railway. Puri will be made a word heritage city. All places of tourism importance will be linked and way-side amenities will be provided on all major roads. District Tourism Councils will be formed in all districts by my Government."

"Promotion of sports among tribals will be the priority of my Government. Astro turfs will be laid in all 17 blocks of Sundargarh district to prepare world class players from the cradle of hockey," he stated.

He also stated, "Our women will now get Rs 10 lakh for their treatment instead of Rs 7 lakh under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana." 

Adding that manifesto promises are priorities of the Government and will be delivered in a time bound manner, he said, “My Government is peoples' Government. More than four and half crore people of our State are at the forefront of all its initiatives. My Government will abide by the suggestions received from the people and work ceaselessly to provide totally citizen centric governance.”

The Governor’s address was followed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s condolences offered to the departed souls on behalf of the august House. Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik and former Leader of Opposition-cum-senior most Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra also paid their homage and offered condolences to the departed souls who had been the esteemed members of Odisha Assembly. They also rendered their heartfelt condolences to the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives while serving the motherland.       

Earlier in the day, Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal was given the Guard of Honor and was welcomed into the august House by Speaker Surya Narayan Patro. The session began with the national anthem and was followed by the Governor’s address.

Soon after the Governor's address and obituary references made by  Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and former Leader of Opposition, Speaker Surya Narayan Patra made his obituary references and adjourned the House till tomorrow amid ruckus created by Congress MLAs.  

Notably, the first session (Budget session) of the newly-elected 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) commenced at 11 am today (June 25) with the Governor’s address. As per the schedule, election of Deputy Speaker will be held on 27th June (Thursday) and the budget for year 2019-20 will be presented on 28th June (Friday).

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Prof Ganeshi Lal, Governor, Odisha

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Pramila Mallick, Govt Chief Whip, Odisha