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Austerity measures paid no dividend

SHILLONG: The austerity measures being proclaimed by the State Government to tide over the financial crisis have turned out to be a lip service without any practical approach as creation of new posts continued, besides the purchase of vehicles.
However, as far as purchase of vehicles is concerned, the Additional Chief Secretary in charge Finance says that purchase of vehicles is allowed only in case of replacement of old vehicles.
Though the Government had imposed 20% cut on non plan budget from last April, the practical part is that there is no restriction to foreign tours and avoidable domestic travels, sources said.
As per the 20% cut, there will be restriction on office expenses, maintenance and travel expenses among others. But, there would not be any cut on the salaries and pensions.
However, as far as travel expenses are concerned, no restriction was imposed on ministers and legislators traveling abroad. Moreover, though there is a Resident Commissioner in Delhi to attend to the various needs of the State, very often the Ministers rush to Delhi for one reason or other. Chief Minister himself is a frequent visitor to the national capital.
While taking flights to travel to metropolitan cities and foreign countries, the VIPS also travel in high classes.
Sources said that the creation of four districts at one go prior to the 2013 Assembly elections was not a practical decision which brought additional financial burden for the State Government as even now, these new districts are yet to avail the necessary infrastructure facilities.
Sources said that the resource mobilization of the State Government is not upto the mark as the departments of Taxation, Excise, Transport and others had come under the scanner of Comptroller and Auditor General of India in the past for loss of revenue by various means.

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