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In ‘slog overs’,minister bats for auditors

At a convention of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Department Auditors’ Association...

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
February 2, 2009 10:33:42 pm

Race against Time : On poll eve,Harshavardhan surprises by agreeing to all demands,wants taskforce instantly

At a convention of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Department Auditors’ Association,Cooperatives Minister Harshvardhan Patil called himself a slogover batsman racing against time before the next elections and surprised the audience by agreeing in principle to all the demands set before him. He also asked the auditors’ association to constitute a taskforce within a day to oversee policy decisions that could be expedited without delay.

B T Botre,president of the Pune branch of the association,said the minister had asked them to submit by Monday morning a list of members who would join the taskforce.

Although it is the same government,Patil was given the Cooperatives portfolio after Ashok Chavan took over from Vilasrao Deshmukh as Chief Minister. Prior to Patil,who is an independent from Indapur in Pune district,NCP’s Patangrao Kadam was the Cooperatives Minister. Patil had been a state minister with the Shiv Sena-BJP government as well.

“These are demands that have been pending for many years. We only expected a few of our demands to be met. We are happy,” said Botre.

Patil also pointed out the urgency with which the government had cleared the Rs 6,200-crore loan waiver for state farmers,not covered under the Central loan waiver scheme. “The decision was taken on December 30 and the government resolution was passed by January 6,in one of the quickest decisions taken by the Cabinet,” he said.

On Sunday morning,Patil agreed in principle to transfer the auditing work of cooperative societies — at present handled by the chartered accountants — to state government auditors. He also agreed to several promotions,the post of an auditor will now be slated as a technical job; they will now have an entire year up to March for auditing (as against August of the financial year) — this is a rollback of a decision taken four years ago. Three new divisions of auditors at Mumbai,Latur and Kolhapur will be opened.

He also agreed to setting up a legal cell for the auditors so that they will have the benefit of expert advice in case they are taken to court. These demands would be finalised and solved within a month,he said.

Patil said the government auditors should endeavour to develop their image among different departments and organisations so that they get respect and are not taken lightly. For nearly 1.5 lakh government organisations,the state had only around 4,000 auditors. He said while the government would work towards improving this ratio,the auditors should also improve their technical abilities.

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