Who cares for the State?

The Sangai Express
March 12 2010

With the fiscal year 2009-10 literally closing over us very soon, the State is looking at the stark reality of forfeiting itself a huge amount of fund sanctioned by the Centre for several schemes and projects, all because the State Government has no aptitude to utilise sanctioned funds in time. This is not a new story. At the end of every financial year, the crisis caused by inability to use sanctioned funds completely has been recurring unfailingly. One may call it lack of skill or commitment on the part of the State Government, the inability to use funds in time has far-reaching impacts on the economy and overall development trajectory of the State. It is only obvious that failure to use sanctioned amounts means delay in completion of projects which also entails escalation in the project costs. It seems the importance of time factor is still missing from the psyche of our elected leaders and officials. Now it has become a foregone conclusion that huge amounts of fund will remain un-utilised at the end of the current fiscal just like the last many preceding years. This is rather disappointing as it turned out that numerous meetings presided by the Chief Minister to utilise funds properly and in time have gone to the dogs. The situation is even more precarious this time, thanks to the ceasework strike being undertaken by Government employees at the fag end of the financial year. The State Government will be once again caught napping when the financial year closes over, more so for it is entangled in a costly stalemate with its own employees. What is most regrettable is that, both the contending parties have thrown away any concern for the overall welfare of the State in their tussle for what is right on one side and infeasibility on the other.

Who stands to lose at the end is all the people of Manipur including employees. The persisting deadlock between the Government and its own employees is now breeding widespread resentment among the larger section of the population. The resentment is not much about the inconveniences caused by the indefinite ceasework strike by employees. It is more about the huge amount of money that still remains un-utilised. What is more worrisome to the citizens is the question whether the lapsed amounts would be re-sanctioned in the next fiscal or not; whether the projects/schemes deferred would be scrapped or re-initiated next year. Continuing the impasse at this stage would be disastrous for the whole State. It is time the Government come out of its oft-repeated rhetoric and embark on some concrete measures. Here we would like to suggest the agitating employees too to delineate from their usual reactions and take up some decisive actions. Both the parties need to realise that the public is fed up of their war of words through mass media. The war of words between the learned sides has all the potential to project media in a not-so-savoury taste. It would be huge relief to the public if the contending parties settle their difference amicably or vanquish one side to submission in case there is no way out from the continuing impasse.

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