Mukul slams govt for ‘financial mess’

SHILLONG: Opposition leader Mukul Sangma has made a scathing attack on the state government over, what he termed, “financial mess” and contradictions between its words and actions.
“There is a paradox between the reply of the Chief Minister (in the recently held budget session) and the actual action of the government,” the former chief minister said.
He told The Shillong Times on Wednesday that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s statement on the floor of the House that the government had enough resources to tide over, was exposed as hollow when it resorted to deferment of salaries of its employees.
“What you say is not reality but what you do is reality and reality is reflected in the actions,” he remarked.
According to Sangma, no government has ever resorted to deferment of salaries for the employees regardless how bad the financial situation is. “Come whatever may, the government has to fulfill its obligations towards its employees”, he asserted.
Last month, the state government had decided not to defer payment of salaries to its employees for the month of May as the central shares released for April and May were not as low as was expected and there is some stability.
The government, however, maintained that since there was a slump in revenue collection, it would depend largely on the devolution of central taxes.
When asked for his stand on the Centre’s arbitrary deduction of state’s share of the central revenue, he said that he had expressed his anguish during the Budget session in March, but the chief minister was speaking the “same language” as that of the Government of India.
When asked about the suggestions he would make to the state on managing the finances, Sangma said he had already shared his thoughts in the Assembly.
He, however, said that the central government has already amended the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act to allow states to go for higher borrowings. Asking the government to do a proper spadework on managing the projected receipts and expenditure, he said that the previous governments had built a resilient state from the financial perspective.
He also recalled that the chief minister himself had admitted that the state’s revenue deficit was not so high as a result of which revenue deficit grant awarded by finance commission is less.
“This indicates that we were able to hand over the state with a sound fiscal health,” he said while maintaining that now it depends on the government as to how they would demonstrate their efficiency.
“He was not speaking in the voice supposed to be articulating the concerns of the people of the region and the state”, Sangma said.
He also recalled that the chief minister was defending the Centre rather than asking it to restore the funds, which is a tragedy.

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