People should not be fleeced for the chit fund depositors

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When a government creates a corpus fund for a specific purpose, the money deposited in the said fund does not come from the pocket of the head of that government. It comes from the State Exchequer.

Chit Fund operators in Orissa have allegedly cheated several lakhs of people, touted to be of 40 lakhs families whose monetary loss is claimed to be of the tune of Rs. 60,000 crores, though in this “scam”, the exact number of duped depositors and the money involved has not yet been authentically determined.

There is reason to suspect that many high-positioned persons including politicians, bureaucrats and judges were operating the chit funds through their frontmen, which, otherwise, could not have become so monstrous.

As the so-called duped depositors started filing FIRs against the cheating and the police smelled the enormity of the offense, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attempted to lessen the wrath of the depositors by pronouncing a corpus fund for payment of their dues, just in order to keep the climate congenial to his interest in election.

The declaration of the Chief Minister, basically a stunt as it was to keep the so-called duped depositors somewhat assuaged before election-2014, the proposed corpus fund has not yet materialized. The budget placed before the Assembly is entirely silent on this score.

When media has no ethical role in cultivating funds for payment to chit fund depositors, it is intriguing that, media-mega-power Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, leading a delegation of the allegedly duped depositors has submitted a memorandum to Finance Minister P. K. Amat demanding formation of the corpus fund without delay and refund of deposits to the affected depositors.

As a sentinel of Orissa’s interest, we strongly oppose the proposal to create a corpus fund to refund the money deposited in the chit funds by the so-called duped depositors.

There are branches of nationalized banks and official organs all over Orissa that offer many saving schemes with assured interest. The so-called duped depositors could not have been duped had they preferred their deposits in such saving schemes. Their avarice led them into the trap of chit funds and deposit of their money in chit funds was an offense against the State inasmuch as the deposit in chit funds denied flow of funds to the State coffers.

Notwithstanding the size of deposits in chit funds, every such deposit was contributive to black money. And the same cannot be encouraged by the State with assured refund of their money avariciously stashed in black money coffers.

Depositing in chit funds was not made with State approval and hence, State should have no financial liability in misappropriation of the said deposits by the chit fund operators.

The State has only one role to play in this matter. That is, investigation into allegation of cheating and prosecution against the chit fund operators if the allegations are prima facie convincing. Beyond this, the State must not take any step.

The chit fund depositors must be held as willful allies of black money syndicate and for their benefit, the people of Orissa must not be fleeced by the Chief Minister through his proposed corpus fund as every pie to be used in that fund would come from the money of the tax-payers.

Orissa Budget offers more than half to Non-Plan Programs

Out of Rs. 80,139.58 crores proposed in Budget 2014-15, more than half, estimated at Rs. 40,711.01 crores would be non-plan expenditure.

The Budget presented on June 17 to Orissa Assembly by Finance Minister P.K.Amat is higher than the last year’s by 33%, though projected as a revenue surplus budget. Compared to Rs.Rs.1951.49 crore in 2013-14, the present budget is pregnant with a surplus of Rs.4265.55 crores, according to Sri Amat.

Yet, the budget projects a fiscal deficit of Rs. 9696.83 crores, which is claimed to be within the limit laid down under the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management Act. It is of an estimated deficit of 2.98% of the GSDP as against 3% set as the highest limit under the Act, he said.

Consumers of liquor and users of vehicles will be taxed to fetch revenue to meet the expenditure. The rate of tax would be hiked to 25% from 20% whereas the tax for petrol and diesel would increase from 18% to 20%. Total revenue receipt estimated is Rs. 67,146.96 crores whereas recovery of loans and advances may assure Rs. 240.29 crores and receipt from other sources including burrowing would be Rs. 12,752.32 crores making a surplus of Rs. 4265.55 crores, the minister told the House.

Plan outlay for 2014-15 is spelt out to be Rs. 40,810 crores including Rs. 38,810 crore for government sector and Rs.2000 crores for Public Sector Undertakings.

However, after squandering away State’s assets for industries – more exploitive than beneficial – Naveen Patnaik’s fourth term launches a separate budget for agriculture shaped up with Rs.2727.99 crores in its plan and non-plan areas, though the scheme of ‘one rupee per kg rice’ that has precipitated ruin of agriculture by negatively encouraging lethargy in agricultural working class all over the State, has a budgetary provision of Rs.1327.16 crores.

Sans possible remedy, Assembly witnesses Naveen Brand of Administrative Anarchy

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With massively massive majority in the Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik may not possibly be forced to act in interest of the people.

But from what his Finance Minister has revealed in the House, comes to light the administrative anarchy he has subjected the people to, in its economic management.

When Orissa has been forced into debt-trap, with the ever increasing debt load reaching Rs. 37570.89 crores, the administration has been cohabiting with economic offenders from whose coffers the State is to retrieve at least Rs. 51914 crores.

Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, in answering Bhujabal Majhi of Congress, has informed the House on Monday, when the State had a loan of Rs. 18100.80 crores in 1999-2000, the amount is estimated to have increased to Rs.37570.89 crores in 2013-14. Thus, during the regime of Naveen Patnaik, per capita loan amount has increased from Rs.5014/- to Rs.8687/-.

When this loan is loaded on the people to fuel the vote-catching programs run by the State in the name of his father Biju, the occasion for loan could not have even arisen, had private companies been made to make payment of Orissa’s tax dues. In the mining sector alone, there is non-recovery of located dues amounting to Rs.46191.69 crores. This is when Naveen’s excessive zeal in ensuring official help to mine operators is so clear!

The State is being denuded of its mineral wealth as the government of Naveen Patnaik never bothers about how much of which mineral must be preserved for future Orissa and her future generations. Yet, a vast sum of Rs.46191,69 crores, which is about Rs.10,000 crores more than the entire debt liabilities of Orissa is yet not brought to the State Exchequer! Sad!

The CAG has unveiled non-collection of the State’s dues in almost all the departments because of mandarines’ honeymoon with the offenders. But Naveen Patnaik, despite in fourth consecutive terms in office, has not punished any of the officers for lapses in collection of revenue.

The easiest way of keeping the State bereft of its dues is creation of climates for litigations. The gained over officials deliberately keep flaws on records to provide the scope for offenders to move the courts, and as prima-facie the cases look sound in that condition, courts grant stays on recovery, and the cases continue to linger, as the lawyers appointed by the government, earn fabulously for every appearance. Opposition alleged Monday that the government has been squandering away the exchequer in paying lawyers even at the rate of Rs.25 lakhs per day, when offenders are enjoying the luxury of lingering litigations in various courts. It deserves to be noted that the highest paid lawyers that are yet to succeed in defeating the offenders’ design, and in legally opening the coffers of the offenders to drag in the outstanding dues of the State to its exchequer, are all non-Oriya lawyers. Orissa has many competent lawyers whose devotion for the motherland could have been fetching better results; but fellows who have no emotional affinity for Orissa, enjoy the preference of this government.

Viciousness of this circle is impregnable. Had Naveen Patnaik the aptitude to serve people’s interest, he should have created a law to punish the departmental secretary for improper vetting of the government orders that give birth to litigations, wherein law courts find prima facie strength in the cases of the alleged offenders, for which, stay orders emanate. Had actions against issuers of flawed orders been codified, the officials would have been cautious and careful and the offenders in nexus with the lawyers could not have got the scope to bike the exchequer of its dues, making so huge amount of money unavailable to the State.

From the FM’s answer to Naba Kishore Das, it transpires that 7180 cases challenging the government’s tax claim are pending in courts including the High Court and the Supreme Court, because of which dues of the State to the tune of Rs. 51,914.13 crores stay unrecovered.

The nexus is strong, because the Chief Minister is beyond answerability for non-recovery of the dues of the State.

Against this backdrop, the State Budget is set to be placed today before the Assembly.

Impose Ceiling on Private Wealth Mr. Modi, don’t threat Common Indian with Further Financial Burden

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has expressed in a meeting of his party workers in Goa that the economic ruin his predecessor Manmohan Singh has pushed the country into, warrants tougher steps that may also affect the purse of the common man.

This makes two things clear:

Firstly, Modi was ignorant of the economic condition of India before he cultivated BJP pimps to market him as their prim-ministerial candidate. Had he any real knowledge about the country’s economic condition under Manmohan Singh, instead of now telling the people that, they are to bear the financial burden to help him rule them, he should have told them about how he was to salvage the country from the economic strait, if elected. He kept the people in dark about his ideas, and now threatens them with new financial burdens! If they were to be further exploited to help the juggernaut of Modi move, they could have refused him the mandate. They are now going to be cheated.

Secondly, Modi knew the details of the economic ruin Manmohan Singh had dragged the country into, where economic aggrandizers prospered and common man perished, as was bound to happen under capitalism. Modi had nothing to say against that, as he also belongs to the same nasty school of capitalism. In fact, in his entire electioneering, capitalism was never criticized. He had never uttered a single word of disapproval of Manmohan Singh’s political economy, because he is also to continue with the same baton. He deliberately hurled abusive words at the Congress President and her family and with the help of Goebbels in the media, made the election person-centric instead of ideology-centric. And, while doing so, he knew that the government he was to run will impose burdens on the common man so that his show shall continue unhindered, exactly as Manmohan Singh subjected the people to all sorts of nefarious exploitation by the capitalists and compradors with the assurance that the end result thereof would benefit the people.

In these pages we had shown how Anna Hazare was used to divert people’s spontaneous uprising against misrule of Manmohan Singh from ills of capitalism to corruption, as a prelude to emergence of a new mask of capitalism. And that new mask is Modi.

Yet, he was the best thing to happen, in absence of any effective alternative that could have brought Communism to power. Many alert Indians to whom Modi is an anathema to the purpose of Indian Republic, supported him under the pretension that the election 2014 was an opportunity to chose between American Imperialism represented by the Congress and Indian Capitalism represented by the BJP. So, it was patriotic for them to prefer the BJP.

Therefore, Modi’s emergence as the Prime Minister is based on patriotic preference of a large number of Indians, in the battle of American Imperialism versus Indian Capitalism.

This preference will not stay if Modi precipitates a battle between Capitalism and the common man.
As the Prime Minister, he is to run his administration which must ensure strong defense of the Republic and pursue the projects of welfare. And for these basic purposes, he must need enough money. As a man groping about in the dark now, he has expressed his mind to collect the money from the people. He must not proceed in this direction, because people have already been exhausted by paying for making the rich richer.

What should, then, he do?

Only two steps he has to take.

He has rightly taken the first step to recover black money stashed by dishonest Indians in foreign banks. He must expedite it and bring back the money from the coffers of the traitors.

The second step he should take, is, imposition of ceiling on private wealth and confiscation all wealth exceeding the ceiling.

The country has already had the experience of ceiling on landed properties. In view of this precedence, it is just and proper and entirely legal to impose ceiling on private wealth in terms of money and confiscate the excess amount.

So enormous funds, thus, would be available that there shall be no necessity to impose any more financial burden on the common man.

If he does not heed to this advice, a new era will come to Indian Republic through a new battle between capitalism and the common man, nobody knows how, though, when Modi fails as the last hope in the present circumstances, it must.

Priority given to Agriculture in Governor’s customary address to the 15th Assembly

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The first session of Orissa’s 15th Assembly commenced with Governor Dr. S.C.Jamir laying priority on agriculture, the key to development of the State. In the next five years 10 lakh hectares of land would be irrigated, he said.

The customary address spelt out assurances for formulation and promulgation of women policy, creation of labor Welfare Board for workers in unorganized sectors, Medical Corporation for supply of medicines to patients, Express Highway to serve KBK region and southern districts and over and above other ambitious programs, conversion of thatched houses to RC roofed ones in phased manner.

Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House thereafter till June 13, in honor of the lamented leaders and martyrs whom the House paid obituary respect.

Corepatis and Charged Criminals in both the benches, 15th Orissa Assembly commences its 1st session

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With at least 52 of the 147 MLAs having declared criminal cases out of whom 32 belong to the ruling BJD, and 76 men of crores with more than half of them (62 out of 117) in the ruling party – belonging to a class totally different from that of their electors – the Fifteenth House of Representatives of Orissa will commence its first session today.

The session will start with Governor of Orissa, Dr. Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir addressing the Assembly.

Astute legislator Narasingh Mishra has been elected the leader of Congress Legislative Party that comprises 9 crorepatis and similar number of members with criminal cases (56% each of its strength). Speaker Niranjan Pujari will formally declare him Leader of Opposition, as the House starts.

K.V.Singdeo will be in charge of the BJP group that has 80% of its member with declared criminal cases and 40% belonging to the class of Crorepatis.

Incidentally, when average wealth of Congress members is Rs.1.92 crores and of BJD members is Rs.2.03 crores, the average worth of BJP members is Rs.13.44 crores.

Crorepatis and criminals being conspicuous by their presence in the House, and compradors having their collaborators in administration, it would be worth watching how the Assembly proceeds.

Minister wants mass education roadmap on the matrix of P. K. Patnaik’s Vision

In an attempt to kick-start the habitually malfunctioning department of Mass Education into expected activities, its new Minister Mr. Debi Prasad Mishra has asked the mandarins to promptly prepare a roadmap on the basis of P. K. Patnaik’s vision document 2001 and to keep themselves addressed to its implementation.

Every officer who matters in the department was called to a State level convention held for the purpose in the Secretariat conference hall on June 11, where the Minister made it clear that there shall be zero-tolerance to negligence in implementation of mass education programs.

He called for flawless execution of the Rastriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan scheme in the State and directed to demolish dilapidated school buildings in urban areas with immediate effect for safety of the students and to take quick steps to come up with safe structures. By 25th this month all the limping projects must be estimated, he underlined.

The Minister disliked the delay in implementation of Kasturba Gandhi Valika Vidyalay scheme and directed that sites for 40 schools under the scheme must have to be finalized in remote rural areas by the month of September this year.

He asked the officers to ensure that by 25 this month, monitoring of departmental programs in the format of Computerized Project Scheme Management System is materialized. Amongst other items, the minister also stressed on inclusion of physical education and environment in school curriculum.

Prime Minister must not be Presidential

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

His Goebbels in pet media notwithstanding, whatever little consciousness has yet not deserted the Indians makes it clear that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi is going to give an autocratic rule despite presence of a cabinet.

His tenure has begun with exhibition of scant regards for the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules framed and enforced by the President under Clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution of India, as all the Secretaries and top bureaucrats are given the impression that only he matters, not his ministers, in matter of governance.

And, to his Goebbels, he is a “Presidential Prime minister”!

What a wordy acrobatics!

No wonder. This happens, when journalists jettison their professional conscience and media as a whole does not bother about rising of Goebbels in their midst.

There is, of course, no wrong in June 5 call of the Prime Minister to the Union Secretaries to be “pro-people”, because that exactly is what needs be done, as mandate 2014 unambiguously bears the people’s verdict against Manmohan Singh’s anti-people governance. But sadly, the call is difficult to materialize because of overlaping contradictions.

The PM has asked the Union Secretaries to do away with archaic rules and procedures to proceed with what they perceive to be “pro-people”. It is good to do away with irrelevant rules. But, how can a Secretary or any Officer do away with any rule of the land? Keeping or quashing the rules is not assigned by Laws to the bureaucrats. It is the responsibility of the law makers. There shall be anarchy if bureaucracy is encouraged to usurp the role of Legislature. Pro-people governance, then, would melt in misrule.

Mr. Modi has offered freedom to the Union Secretaries and top bureaucrats to come to him directly with any suggestions they would like to advance or to seek his intervention when they need to resolve any issue. This is bad, because, in both these actions, the minister concerned shall stay a person of no importance.

Under the Rules of Business noted supra, every department is kept under the charge of a minister, who is answerable to the Parliament, individually and collectively as a member of the Ministry. The Secretary is answerable to the concerned Minister and is to work under his control. Allowing or encouraging a Secretary to do away with the rules and procedures, and to “directly” contract the Prime Minister with suggestions as he wants and/or to seek the PM’s intervention to resolve any issue, apparently against the minister, is nothing but disastrous to cabinet-centric political administration.

Modi’s June 5 meeting with the Union Secretaries portends bad days for whatever semblance of democracy India is still having, because a Parliamentary Democracy cannot survive if a Prime Minister becomes Presidential.

CM must stop this reckless splurge

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Squandering away Orissa’s rare natural wealth has remained the idiosyncrasy of Naveen Patnaik’s three-term-long administration.

Those who, without any suffering for the cause of the people or without any sacrifice for them, occupy ministerial berths in a pattern of inheritance or in the name of the father or the mother or as a reward from the boss for being loyal factotums, never bother about how unnecessary spending for their pleasure may ruin the State/Exchequer. In such cases, though in power as representatives of the people, the power-holders tend to imagine that they are born to rule. And, this syndrome ruins the public assets and exchequer like in Orissa where it has been done these years.

Proteges suggest that Naveen was thus far in an environment where he was unable to work freely. In the first two terms, he was under compulsion to keep the BJP pleased. In the third term former secretary of his father Pyari Mohan Mohapatra had architected his victory by salvaging his party from coalition with BJP and till finally parting ways, was the controller of administration. When Pyari withdrew his blanket, for a shocked Naveen, managing survival in the chair was so challenging that, he had no strength to act freely. Fellows like his secretary took advantage of that and in his own office, a super chief minister got grown out of a paid government servant. So, during the entire period of his three previous terms, Naveen had to depend on others, to be precise, from one super-CM to another and hence, had not a free hand to handle the affairs. But this time Sri Patnaik has come to power all by himself and hence, one should expect that he shall be in a position to impose discipline in administration. He may begin with why his ministers are not functioning in their respective offices in the Secretariat. They are not functioning, because their rooms are not ready.

He may enter into the Ministers’ corridors. The entrances look like this at the moment.

ministers' corridor

Why so? He may enter into a corridor and look into a suit of rooms where a minister should have been holding his office after oath taking.

Like in the picture below, he would see his own photo hanging on the wall. And, he would see the floor dug up, office table and furnitures absent and the entire office space full of debris.

NP's photo yet on the wall

What has happened? The ministers are taking reorientation training in squandering away public money for personal pleasure on being elevated from people’s representative to rulers of the people.

Naveen’s photo on the wall in the above picture is witness to the fact that the room was the office of a minister of his previous term and being the office of a minister, it was certainly most meticulously maintained a room with excellent marble tiled floors and costliest fittings. There was no problem for a minister to have his office there in the allotted room. But, if the representative is to act as a ruler, his room must be renovated to a more gorgeous condition, whatever that may cost to the exchequer. Floor tiles are to be changed, old furnitures to be replaced with new ones, and all the other fittings must be new.

The pictures below are of similar rooms.

renovation goes onyet another room

Such squandering away of public money must be stopped.

Esteem visitors to this site would appreciate if the Chief Minister comes out from staying the preening prince of Bijudom and react to this exposure with samples of action taken against this reckless splurge.

Chief Minister’s home district: Killer finds Police Station area safe for the crime

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The District belongs to the Chief Minister. The department of home (Police) belongs to the Chief Minister. Like all other Police Stations in the District, Khalikote PS is also equipped with carefully chosen Police Officers worthy of confidence of the Chief Minister.

Yet, the killer(s) slaughtered media person Tarun Acharya in the early night of Tuesday sans any fear for the Police even though the PS was in the proximity.

Acharya, only 34, was reportedly investigating into certain acts of felony, which could have become very problematic for the rogues.

Whether or not those rogues have murdered Acharya, the fact that a journalist could be killed so cold-bloodedly on the road nearing the PS, speaks volumes of how the environment there has become congenial to crime.

Various organizations of media persons including Media Unity for Freedom of Press have expressed solidarity with and demanded compensation to the bereaved family and punishment to the killer(s) without loss of time.


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