Assam Budget Leak: Cong. Leader Debabrata Saikia seeks inquiry

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The Assam Budget 2020-21 was allegedly leaked online. The copy of the Budget was uploaded to the website of the Assam Finance Department. Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is scheduled to present the budget for the financial year 2020-21 in the Assam assembly at around 2 PM on Friday.

Alleging this, Congress leaders staged a noisy walkout and claimed that it was an “insult” to the legislators who had congregated to listen to the budget speech and claimed that the alleged “leak” of the budget is “unprecedented”.

Saikia, who along with his Congress brethren walked out of the Assembly, later conveyed to the press the need for an inquiry into the matter. “On behalf of the Assam Congress Legislature Party, I demand an inquiry by an all-party House Committee into the today’s leakage of the Budget and the said committee should be empowered to recommend measures against those found responsible for this lapse”, he informed via a press release.

The veteran Congress leader also complained that ” it is unfortunate that the Chief Minister, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, who was present in the House today, did not attach any importance to this serious issue.”

However, later, the Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami stated that it should not be considered a “leak” as the text document was kept separately. Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, playing down the allegations, claimed that the budget proposal of the budget 2020-21 was never put “online”.

On the other hand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary denied the allegation and said that the Cabinet has to approve the Budget before the Finance Minister tables it in the Assembly. “As a cabinet minister, I don’t know the budget, so how the budget could be leaked?”

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