Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to present the state budget instead of finance minister

Finance minister Amit Mitra has been advised by doctors to not step out of home.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will read out the state budget in the Assembly this time instead of Finance Minister Amit Mitra. Due to health issues, Mitra is strictly forbidden to step out and will not be able to deliver the budget.

The budget will be presented in the assembly on February 5. According to officials, the permission to read out the budget will be officially sought at the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee.

The financial statements are presented at the beginning of each year to take the expenditure approval in the state budget procedure. However, in exceptional situations any other minister can present the budget if the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly allows it, which is usually not a problem. However, there is less precedence of the Chief Minister reading her/his own budget. Although the budget announces a full-year plan, the expenditure approval will be sought over the next three months, known as “vote on account”.

State finance minister Amit Mitra has reportedly already written to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar seeking an exemption from reading the budget this year. State Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee has also requested for the Governor’s permission in a similar letter.