NPF govt’s ‘ghost budget’ for State

DIMAPUR, APRIL 3 (MExN): Over a week after the State Budget was presented by the Neiphiu Rio led NPF government, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has termed it as a ‘ghost budget’ pointing out that the budget was presented without finalization by the Planning Commission of India (PCI). According to a press note from the NPCC Media Cell, it was stated that the State Government could not submit the Utilization Certificates for 2010-2011 due to which the Planning Commission had refused to finalize the plan size for 2011-12. “Till then, the departments will have to wait uncertainly with folded hands. It also means that the development activities under the State programs will come to a grinding halt”, claimed the NPCC.
Budget was presented without finalization by the  Planning Commission of India: NPCC
The NPCC also maintained that it was “amusing” to see the Chief Minister reminding the people of Nagaland again that the NPF Lok Sabha MP has been extending unconditional support to the UPA Govt. at the Centre. “It has been observed that every time the NPF-DAN Government needs money or finalization of the State Plan outlay, they shamelessly make a point to bring out the issue of its so-called unconditional support to UPA Govt”, it was stated. The Opposition Congress has reminded the public that their support was voluntary, unsolicited and with ulterior motive. “The survival of the UPA Govt. is not at the mercy of one NPF MP. The NPF is advised to save for itself, its precious single vote that went against the UPA Govt. in the crucial nuclear trust vote”.     
The Nagaland Congress also questioned the government based on the revelation of the Accountant General (AG) of Nagaland that out of 3900 Govt. employees retired since 1st October 2009, only 900 pension cases have been received by the AG out of which, only 700 cases were cleared. According to the NPCC this was in sharp contrast to the statement of the Chief Minister who had misled the house on 28th March 2011. “He had stated on the floor of the house that budget provision of Rs.496.33 crore was made in the Budget Estimate (BE) 2010-11 in respect of all pensioners including those who retired in the past. The provision was then reduced to Rs. 400 crore in the Revised Estimate (RE) 2010-11 because only 1520 pension cases could be settled by the AG.
The Chief Minister went on to blame the AG that the government could not help if there was delay in the office of the AG”, stated the NPCC press note.
As per the NPCC, in order to counter the Chief Minister’s allegations of delay in AG and make its own stand clear, the AG had revealed that GPF and other pension papers are supposed to be prepared one year ahead of retirement of Govt. employees and the documents should reach the AG office before 6 (six) months but the same was not done by the government. The AG also revealed that there is a ceiling limit of 3 (three) months to clear all pension cases by AG failing which it goes to the CAG.
The NPCC statement informed that as of today, over 6000 employees are believed to have retired with Education department alone accounting for over 1000 employees. “The fates of over 5000 retired employees are sand-witched in the blame game of the government and the AG. In the melee, the very survivals of the dependents are put in danger due to malnutrition, sickness, etc. and the careers of many promising youths are at stake”. As such the NPCC has condemned what it termed was the DAN Govt.’s “use and throw policy which wiped out a generation of Nagas like a tsunami” and pointing out that this was “inhuman”.
“When the AG had made it very clear that the government was duty-bound to process pension papers and send to AG one year ahead of retirement, the government is entirely responsible for the delay”, the NPCC stated. While demanding the government to stop the blame game and act fast, the NPCC also appealed to the AG to clear the pension cases promptly and transparently.
“The AGs admission that delays in sending pension documents to AG office paves the way for corruption best describes the plight of the retired employees who are made to run from pillar to post for what is rightfully theirs”. “The hard-earned benefits paid as the last reward for self-less service should not become the object of envy for corruption. Give to Caesar what belongs to him”, the NPCC concluded.