Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly today passed appropriation of Rs 16,500 crore on vote-on-account for the first month of 2018-19 financial year.

The Odisha Appropriation (vote-on-account) Bill, 2018 was passed by a voice vote with state’s Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera, saying it would ensure unhindered financial allocation for the ongoing programmes.

“As it was not possible to complete the entire budget process by end of the current financial year, we have decided to go for vote-on-account to continue financial allocation to ongoing programmes,” Behera said.

The first phase of the budget session of the state Assembly came to an end with the passage of the appropriation of the amount on vote-on-account.

The finance minister on March 23 had presented the annual budget worth Rs 1.20 lakh crore for 2018-19 financial year.

The second phase is slated to be held from April 11 to May 5.

The Appropriation Bill of the full budget is to be passed on April 30, Assembly officials said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.