The Bihar Legislative Assembly today passed the second supplementary budget for 2017-18 after day- long verbal exchanges between the opposition and ruling coalition members on the issue of sand mining. The demand for grants under the Rs-9,598.98 crore second supplementary budget and the related Appropriation bill was approved on the fifth and final day of the Winter Session before the House was adjourned sine die. The bill provides for an expenditure of Rs 4,013.69 crore under the plan head, including Rs 2,600 crore as the state's share under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rs 300 crore for the Smart City scheme and Rs 130 crore for flood control projects. Under the non-plan head, an amount of Rs 1,243 crore is earmarked for food supply during natural calamities, Rs 1,091 crore for grants to the helpless and differently-abled during floods, Rs 914 crore for grants in respect of damaged crops and Rs 600 crore for repairing damaged roads and bridges. But the budgetary demand approval was preceded by heated exchanges between the opposition and ruling coalition members. The House was adjourned thrice during the day, following a ruckus created by the opposition parties, led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Continuing with their aggressive protest over the issue of sand mining, the RJD staged a vociferous agitation in the House as it sat after the lunch break, forcing Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary to adjourn the proceedings for the third time till 1650 hours. The third adjournment followed slogan-shouting from both the opposition and treasury benches after a heated exchange between Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav. Yadav had demanded the resignation of Singh and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the issue of corruption, to which the minister responded by pointing towards cases lodged against the opposition leader and his family members by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). The five-day Winter Session of both Houses of the Bihar Legislature came to an end today with their adjournment sine die (with no appointed date for resumption).
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