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Govt on the back foot as Opposition objects to Rs 11,600-cr allocations

Accuses govt of violating governor’s directives by not producing expenditure statement along with supplementary demands before legislature

Written by Express News Service | Nagpur | Updated: January 9, 2014 4:42:24 pm

With Opposition leaders alleging that the Congress-NCP government violated the governor’s directives by not producing expenditure statement before the legislature while placing supplementary demands worth Rs 11,600 crore,the government has agreed to write to Governor K Sankaranarayanan to seek his permission to allow them to pass the supplementary budget with a rider that they would furnish a financial statement on expenditure details during the Budget Session in March 2014.

On Monday,BJP president Devendra Fadnavis wrote to the Legislative Assembly speaker alleging that the government had not furnished the expenditure details sector wise — mandatory for supplementary demands as per the governor’s directives. After receiving the two-page letter,the speaker had a closed-door meeting with Opposition leaders,officials from the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the governor’s officer.

It was decided that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar,who also holds the finance portfolio,would personally discuss the matter with the governor and ask him to allow them to go ahead with the supplementary demands this time. The financial statement,which is mandatory to reflect the sector-wise expenditure across the regions of Vidarbha,Marathwada and rest of Maharashtra,would be furnished during the Budget Session in March 2014.

In his letter,Fadnavis said: “Passage of massive supplementary demands without citing how and where it is going to be spent amounts to financial indiscipline. Often,the funds for backward regions are diverted,which is illegal.”

He added: “In 1994,under Section 371 (2),the state of Maharashtra has accorded special responsibility to Governor for allocation of budget for Vidarbha,Marathwada and rest of Maharashtra…The allocation of funds or outlays made by the governor shall be reflected in the annual financial statement to be placed before the state legislature and the developmental activities with regards to the outlays as aforesaid,shall be carried out or caused to be carried out by the state government and the funds so allocated shall be non-divertible from the area of one Board to another Board.”

According to Fadnavis,“The governor has mandated that every time the state government seeks supplementary budget it should provide the expenditure details sector and region wise. It also mandates that the government cannot divert funds allocated for one region to another using supplementary demands as the route to justify its administrative requirements.”

The Opposition leader said he could cite an instance where Rs 600 crore allocated for Vidarbha was diverted to other regions.

Earlier,the Assembly was adjourned disallowing Fadnavis to raise the issue on the floor of the House. However,Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde raised the matter in the Legislative Council.

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