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Delayed salaries to Govt. employees indicates State’s precarious financial situation

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, MARCH 1: For three months in a row, the Government has delayed releasing the salary of scores of its regular employees, indicating that the State is in a precarious financial situation.
Sources said some regular employees have not received salary for 3 months, while some have not received for 2 months. The Government has admitted financial constraint. Against the backdrop, sources said that the State could land up in an embargo by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
But sources from the Government said Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the Finance Minister, was making efforts to bail-out the State. Reportedly he has sought a loan from certain financial institution.
Recently after the meeting of Administrative Heads of Departments, Chief Secretary J Alam had issued a notification stating that Government will strictly implement “No work, no pay”, even as the Government was struggling to pay the salary to its regular employees.
Earlier, the State Government used to manipulate the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), by transferring them into the Civil Deposit (CD), but with the change in policy of implementation of such schemes by the Central Government ~ an effort to check leakage of public funds ~ State Governments like Nagaland could face difficulty to manipulate CSS funds.
It was known fact that CSS schemes, including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, were not properly implemented and funds mostly pocketed by people who were in power, in nexus with some corrupt Government officers.
Last year, to tide over the financial situation, Rio had laid down some fiscal reforms by cutting down Government expenditure.
Another area of concern, but the Government seems not to have made serious efforts is to screen out such unproductive employees and backdoor appointees who are sucking the State’s Exchequer.
Nagaland has the highest number of Government employees in the country, with around 130000, eating up to 70% of State Plan fund, leaving only 30% for developmental works.
According to Government sources, Nagaland also has highest number of unproductive employees, but Government has never made a concerted effort to screen out such employees.
“When Government can screen out bogus employees from the Education Department why can’t they apply same yardstick to other Departments”, a concerned citizen said.
A senior Government officer also said it would be easy for the Government to detect all unproductive, bogus and backdoor appointees from all Departments.
In several Departments, there are reports of illegal appointments being made by officers without the sanction and approval of the State Government.
The Personnel and Administrative Reforms (P&AR) has also failed to detect many of such employees.
It remains to be seen how serious the financial situation of the State is, when the Finance Minister presents the budget for the year 2022-23 in the forthcoming State Assembly Session.
Meanwhile, as a measure to curtail leakage of money, the State Government, through the Department of Treasuries and Accounts, has instructed all District Treasury Officers and Sub-Treasury Officers to strictly comply that the placement of salaries and wages for 12 months for the Current Financial year 2021-22 has been allocated by the Finance Department on February 25, 2022. Therefore sub-allocation of fund authenticated by the Directorate of Treasuries and Accounts to be strictly insisted and ensure that there should not be any exceeding beyond the allocated fund.
Further, separately monitor strictly on minor heads like salary, wages, leave encashment and Medical advance and reimbursement.
Also drawal of salaries and wages with the preview of e-pay bill system has been relaxed till the remuneration of February drawn in March vide Finance Department office memorandum issued on February 25 subject to the following conditions: those DDOs once adopted the e-pay bill system shall not be allowed to roll back from the system, the relaxation is meant for those DDOs who have an issue confronting with the system and now any relaxation would be considered beyond March 31. Further no any pay, salaries and wages bill will be allowed without getting through CMP platform.
The Circular by the Treasuries and Accounts further stated that as per the Finance Department office memorandum February 24 all Treasuries and Sub-Treasuries have been directed to ensure that CSS implementing Department (DDOs) should directly transfer both the Central and State share to single Nodal Agency Bank Accounts through the respective Treasury.
(Page News Service)