Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has issued a ‘Ten Point Plan’ for the state government departments to ensure that there is careful planning and financial prudence to keep expenses within the budgetary allocation. The former IPS officer who had earlier presided over a meeting of the Puducherry State Planning Board (PSPB) as its chairman came out with the ten point plan to the government departments and the officials at large.
The PSPB had finalised a draft plan of Rs 6,945 crore for Puducherry for the fiscal 2017-2018 which would be presented to the central government for approval so that the territorial government would go ahead with the presentation of the budget on the floor of the assembly.
“We should limit our expenses within the plan approved by the Planning Board which means that we should keep our expenses within Rs 6,945 crore during the fiscal 2017-2018,” Bedi said.
She noted in her plan released to the media that a heavy interest and loan repayment of Rs 1,216 crores has to be made, which is about 17 per cent of the entire budget, and more borrowing was not not an option as it left their children in debt.
She asked the officials and departments to train themselves and their staff to make detailed project reports to get the funds from the Centre.
“Right now we are surrendering funds because of ignorance or lack of interest or lack of training. We should not not continue to do this,” she said.
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“Out of the entire budget of Rs 6,945 crore we are left with only Rs 1,454 crore for other projects, while the rest is for committed expenses such as salaries, payment of pension, expenses for power and interest payment among other things,” the Lt Governor said.
Tourism, municipal services and transport sectors must generate revenues, she said, adding that loss making units– state public sector undertakings and entities–must realise that they should turn around.
“The government grants (to these undertakings) might not be available for long and anything asked for must be budgeted and hence there is no scope for new expenses,” she said.
“Officials should know their budgets, plan carefully and should also be financially prudent,” Bedi said and asked the government to generate revenues or save wherever possible.
“You should also take responsibility as it is time for financial prudence. There would be close monitoring and review of progress every quarter to keep matters under control,” the Lt Governor said.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his ministerial colleagues, MPs R Radhakrishnan (Lok Sabha) and N Gokulakrishnan (Rajya Sabha) from Pondicherry and high-ranking officials were among those who participated in the deliberations of the planning board.