Khandu government reject charges of embezzlement of Rs 10,000 crore

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Itanagar, Sept 16 (PTI): The Pema Khandu government in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday rejected Congress charges of embezzlement of Rs 10,000 crore against it and said if the party cannot substantiate the figure the government might file a defamation case against the APCC president.

“It is beyond comprehension from where the absurd figure has been conjured. It clearly shows that the opposition is oblivious of the scale of finances available in the state,” government spokesman Passang Dorjee Sona told a press conference here.

“Congress is running out of issues and so they are trying to make issues out of no issues. If it cannot substantiate the figure, the government might go for filing defamation case against the APCC president,” he said.

“The Congress is suffering from selective amnesia and need introspection on the days of utter mismanagement of financial resources when they were at the helm of affairs. “We will not allow the state to sink into the same state of mismanagement … Congress, both at the state and the Centre are living in denial,” he added.

Presenting a broad figure of revised estimates of 2016-17, Sona informed that during the year the state received an amount of Rs 8388.30 crore under the 14th Finance Commission along with Rs 200 crore against centrally sponsored schemes ,besides Rs 1157 crore against state’s own resources and Rs 713.91 from borrowings.

“Out of the total receipt, an amount of Rs 4453.91 crore was spent on salaries, wages and pension, while Rs 391.14 crore was spent on repayment of debts, Rs 2026.67 crore spent against central schemes including state share, Rs 2117.40 crore against normal departmental activities and Rs 716.92 against Special Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF),” Sona, who was accompanied by finance commissioner, Ashis Kundra said.

On the letter of the chief secretary, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin to the finance commissioner, the spokesman said that an explanation has been sought from her to substantiate the basis of unfounded issues raised in her note.

“Being the chief advisor to the government, the chief secretary has never mentioned any such apprehensions to the chief minister, the finance minister or the council of ministers on any occasion even after lapse of several months of implementation of the rationalized system,” he wondered.

On another allegation made by the Congress that most of the fund under SIDF was spent in Tawang and Namsai districts represented by chief minister Pema Khandu and deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, Sona disclosed that out of the total 716.92 crore SIDF amount, Rs 35.35 crore and Rs 36.15 crore were allocated to Tawang and Namsai which is barely five per cent each of the total allocation.

The spokesman informed that with the objective to streamline and rationalize the concurrence mechanism, composite sanction of schemes under the same object head was adopted by the finance department for speedy concurrence, timely implementation of schemes and to root out corruption which arises out of protracted repetitive procedures.

“The present government is known for unprecedented reforms at all levels of administration to bring about a transparent, accountable and corruption free governance, which no government has done in the past,” he said.

Sona said, the government believes in proactive disclosure and therefore the accounts till the last penny of the state exchequer are on social media platform and website. “This government has nothing to hide. In fact we have put out all the schemes under implementation for public scrutiny precisely because we want a social audit and people of the area should tell us if there are complaints of corruption or poor quality,” he added.

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