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Proposals worth Rs 1,500 cr get nod before EC sees red

To beat the model code of conduct,which will come into force as soon as the Lok Sabha elections are announced,the state Finance department has gone into the overdrive.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
March 1, 2009 4:58:58 am

To beat the model code of conduct,which will come into force as soon as the Lok Sabha elections are announced,the state Finance department has gone into the overdrive. Working over the weekend,it has cleared proposals involving an expenditure of Rs 1,500 crore.

On Friday,department officials worked until late night. On Saturday morning,they were back in office and expected to work until late night. Apparently,the government believes the elections may be announced any time,even on Sunday. Hence,the panic. The words “in principle” ruled the day. Small chits requesting,“yojna ko saiddhantik sweekriti di jaaye (the scheme may be given in-principle clearance)” were attached to almost all the files that had landed in the department,with the initials of the ministers.

The model code of conduct disallows launching of new schemes,or sanction of fresh,unbudgeted expenditure. But if the Finance department allocates funds for a project or gives its approval “in principle”,the government can go ahead with the scheme even after the announcement of general elections.

It was for this reason that the ministers were keen on “in principle” approval. Officials had little time to talk and phones kept ringing all day. A senior official,“The otherwise dull February-end has suddenly become very active. Our priorities are welfare schemes and those announced by the chief minister in the last six months.”

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Among the proposals cleared from the Education department were grants for 100 colleges in under-served areas,government primary schools for upgradation,ITIs for upgradation and computerisation,grant and support to colleges attached with the Uttar Pradesh Technical University.

A housing scheme for the urban poor was cleared. The urban poverty alleviation programme was approved in principle. The inclusion of new tasks under NREGS was also cleared,along with the Rural Health Insurance Scheme. Other schemes that got the green signal included land for urban poor,modernisation of mini-ITIs,distribution of monetary grant to newborn girls,increase in the daily allowances of Home Guards,setting up of cluster management parks and shilpgrams in khadi village industries and development of river banks by the Department of Irrigation.

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First published on: 01-03-2009 at 04:58:58 am

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