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Munda cracks action whip on secretaries

Ranchi, Sept. 28: Chief minister Arjun Munda today held a special meeting of the cabinet and took stock of the expenditure records of all departments during the current financial year.

Continuing with his new taskmaster approach, Munda called secretaries one by one and directed that plans be converted into reality at the earliest. Till date, many departments have failed to spend a penny from the state plan outlay.

Briefing reporters, cabinet secretary Aditya Swarup said Munda reviewed sanction of funds and actual expenditure of 14 departments. The remaining departments will be taken up at a later meeting, he said.

The total state plan outlay for the current fiscal is Rs 2935.85 crore. According to details submitted by different departments, Rs 1882.83 crore has been sanctioned till date, but the actual expenditure is only Rs 318.79 crore, Swarup said.

“To crosscheck the figure provided by the departments, the government sought drawal details from the treasuries, which amounts to Rs 346 crore. In the plan outlay of three works departments, roads, building construction and irrigation, the sanctioned amount has surpassed the actual outlay. In case other departments do not utilise their allocated budget, the funds would be transferred to the three departments. If that figure is added, the sanction order would increase by about Rs 300 crore,” he said.

Swarup said the situation this fiscal was better compared to the corresponding figure in the last fiscal. “Till August 2002, the total expenditure was only Rs 230.74 crore and the sanction order till November was Rs 1,256 crore. Last year, total expenditure was only Rs 1,883 crore while Rs 738.28 crore was surrendered,” Swarup said.

The cabinet also approved several proposals, including the rehabilitation policy of the irrigation department and sanctioned a 20-year mining lease to Balaji Grinders to set up quartz and feldspar mines. It also gave its post facto approval to temporary appointment of a planning adviser.

In the agriculture department, Rs 43.25 crore was sanctioned against an outlay of Rs 47 crore. But it had spent only Rs 22 lakh. The story was repeated in the other departments. The cooperatives, transport, civil aviation, energy, finance and commercial taxes departments have failed to spend a single penny so far.

The best track record belonged to the health and family welfare and medical education departments, which had spent their entire sanctioned amount.

The welfare department, which was held till recently by the chief minister, has spent a pathetic Rs 1 crore against a sanctioned amount of Rs 157 crore.

Durga Puja initiative

Munda told the East Singhbhum deputy development commissioner through video conferencing that he will personally monitor the immersion of Goddess Durga’s idols, from a watchtower in Jamshedpur.

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