Loot....March... Loot!
Rajesh Bhat | 26 Mar 2008

??????>?? 68????5???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????5@ ??ebjbj?2?2 "(?X?Xe???????2222222FJJJJfF??????????$H R? ?72?????722??L???? 2?2????8??u22??z ? `??J? ?b0??, ?( ?FF2222 2?P????????77FFJ?FFJMerinews Exclusive Loot? March?.Loot! By Rajesh Bhat As the March 31 is drawing close, the Babu establishment in India is presently on a ``looting spree??. Their march for exhausting the funds is on a brisk pace. Almost in every department or establishment, they are `awfully? busy in buying and purchasing, computing and finalizing the pending bills as the financial year of 2007-2008 is on its last legs. A visit to any Government department these days reveals that the accountants, clerical staff and all those who deal with finances, are busy emptying the coffers. They claim that if they will not take this recourse, the funds will get lapsed and the concerned department will be panelized for the same and a shortfall in allotment of funds and budget for the next financial year will occur owing to what they call `` Non-Utilization?? of funds of the previous year. No department worth its salt will afford to surrender the normal routine funds and the windfall in the shape of additional and massive budgetary support that has been provided to all departments even during this month. Further, all pending bills, whether genuine or fictitious have necessarily to be disposed off by March 30th. Unmindful of the fact that whether the money is being spent on genuine works or not, the official Babus care only for submitting the proposals, finding ways and means to make money and to project the case before Drawing and Disbursing Officers so that transaction is made before March 30 and treasuries are emptied of funds. Humorous and strange it may seem, as per the past practice, the public works agencies of both Central and State governments seem to destroy, dig and apparently start repairing and renovating roads, buildings, water-pipes, electricity and telephone lines, boundary walls, painting, white-washing, leveling and a score of other such activities during this month only while the public clamours for the same and cries hoarse throughout the previous 11 months of the same financial year! `` I am forced to sign the cheques and pass bills as our main office stationed in Delhi sanctioned lakhs of rupees under different heads with the clear cut direction to exhaust the money before March 31?, said an Administrative Officer of a J&K based Central Government Department, pleading anonymity. This is infact the fate of every department and their Disbursing Officers in India! And the irony is that for the rest of 11 months and 15 days of the year, funds ware not made available by the same Babus and when some days to March remain every year, suddenly, the funds are there to be spent! There is not something extra-ordinarily new in this. Infact this is a tradition that has been bestowed on to Babudom since Independence. All this throws very important questions: Why is it that for a full financial year every department is made to suffer for want of urgent funds for the execution of projects and schemes that the Government of the day proudly inaugurates or proclaims about? The departments are starved of the same albeit deliberately so that they are not able to send monitoring reports of their completion in time and thereby questions regarding progress reports are not there to be answered. The bureaucracy is notorious for projecting wrong demands for budget to sanction in this case which is usually based on whims, conditioned and imaginary responses. Why is it that no scientific analysis and computing system exists for the projection of the demands incorporating the cost factor on every project that the departments usually take into their hands? Why should?nt a professional exercise on a quarterly basis be carried out to put forward the cost effectiveness and the dead-lines for finishing a particular project and funds released for the same?. It is understood that a mechanism already exists but only on papers regarding the same, which is never followed. The politico-bureaucratic nexus ensures that one feeds the other and everything is taken care of when things start manifesting in the public domain. Where are the Vigilance Organizations ? Or are they too witness to this loot? Who does it serve after all to make the people suffer for their legitimate grants, claims and public facilities throughout a particular year and suddenly the money made available thus is allowed to go down the drain and thereby destroy the tax-payers money in a most in-efficient manner. Heavens are not going to fall if the so-called surrendering of funds is allowed than to loot the nation. Indeed, an apt issue for Citizen Journalism! ========= . 7JKL}??????????? ! # - = > A O h q ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?   & : t u ?  A B ? ? ? ? ? ? ? z ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?   .BJTXgo{???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????h5?h||Uh??h?G?h?G?H*h?u?h?G?h??hu?h?>@hP?yh?Dch?Dc5?h?DcO-./0JKM}? 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