It’s official: Aam Gujarati will pay for Modi’s fasts

Indian Express has learnt that state administration planned for expenses as early as in November.

Written by KapilDave | Gandhinagar | Published:February 10, 2012 12:35 am

It’s finally official. The taxpayer in Gujarat will pay for Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Sadbhavana Mission,his campaign of fasts for communal harmony and brotherhood with a strong political flavour.

The Indian Express has learnt that the General Administration Department planned for expenses related to the Mission as early as in November,passing two government resolutions instructing all department heads,district collectors and authorities to debit these costs as “accidental expense” under the government’s exigency account number “8000”.

The Government Resolution says,“The bill should mention in red ink — ‘Contigency fund sanctioned under government memorandum’… The expense will be later on transferred to supplementary budgetary demands under the head of ‘Sadbhavna Mission related programme (un-planned) expense’ and will be placed in the upcoming budget session for the approval of the assembly. District Collectors will be liable to answer any audit queries pertaining to their districts.”

The budget session of the Gujarat Assembly begins on February 23. The government did not respond to attempts to know how much was being spent and where the money would come from for the fasts. Mahagujarat Janata Party president Gordhan Zadaphia had filed a request with Governor Kamla Beniwal,seeking details.

A senior government official said the Mission’s total cost had not been calculated yet. “The final figure will be accounted under supplementary budget expense,” the official said.

Sources said each fast is expected to have cost Rs 6-10 crore,and the total is likely to be around Rs 300 crore. The Congress says the bill could be three times more.

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