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.