Mumbai: Ending speculation over his health, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar returned to capital Panaji and presented the state budget on Thursday, after being discharged from Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital earlier in the day.

Parrikar read out a short speech in which he sought “co-operation and blessings of all Goans and legislators to take forward the development work".

Parrikar, 62, was being treated at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital since 15 February for food poisoning and abdominal pain. After discharge, the chief minister flew down to Panaji where he chaired a cabinet meeting, and later tabled Goa’s budget for 2018-19 in the legislative assembly. Parrikar read out a brief speech before seeking a vote on account for the first five months of the 2018-19 fiscal which was passed by voice vote.

Parrikar, who holds the finance portfolio, tabled a Rs17,123.28 crore budget for 2018-19 which represents an increase of 6.84% over the 2017-18 budgetary outlay. Parrikar also tabled estimates of receipts and demand for grants for the 2018-19 fiscal.

Soon after the passage of the vote on account and annual financial statement, speaker Pramod Sawant adjourned the budget session sine die. Earlier, the business advisory committee of the state legislature had drafted an agenda from 19 February to 21 March but the BAC and speaker decided to curtail the session to four days due to Parrikar’s ill-health.

Parrikar, who did not show any apparent signs of ill-health, thanked “lakhs of his Goan brothers, sisters, leaders of different communities, and religions for their blessings and prayers during the period when he was admitted".

“My health condition has restrained me from preparing a full budget speech. Pending full budget, I seek vote on account for the first five months of next financial year. I will be coming out with details of budgetary allocations in due course. I stand before this august house with a renewed strength and confidence and I seek co-operation and blessings of all Goans and members of this house in taking forward the development work," Parrikar said in his brief speech.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close confidante landed in Goa around 1 pm. Parrikar left the assembly premises soon after the house was adjourned after a brief exchange with members.

The chief minister said 2018-19 was the year of “employment" and the budget allocated Rs548.89 crore for the departments of industry, labour, employment, and information technology, to help them create employment opportunities and promote entrepreneurship.

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