July 5, 2018
Effective utilisation of resources, CM chairs meeting
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today chaired a meeting at Nabanna to discuss about effective utilisation of resources. She addressed the press after the meeting.
Highlights of her speech:
- We have to avoid wastage of resources, but not at the expense of public services. We have merged 12 departments. We have to stop wasteful expenditure in areas where it is not required and spend the money of necessary services instead.
- We cannot compromise on schemes like Kanyashree, Sabuj Shree, Sikshashree, Sabuj Sathi etc. This is people’s money. We cannot compromise on that.
- We have to spend Rs 5000 crore extra to give DA. We have already paid over Rs 2.24 lakh crore as debt instalments. This year we have to pay Rs 46,000 crore for debt servicing.
- We have increased planned expenditure by 5 times in the last seven years, capital expenditure has increased four times, physical infrastructure has grown by four times and social spending has increased more than four fold. We have received Golden Peacock award for e-governance. We have started e-tendering and other e-services.
- We are continuously reforming the system. We have reduced the number of departments from 63 to 51. 12 departments have been merged. We are trying our best. We are getting results because our government is active, rather pro-active. At a time when farmers are in distress all over the country, we have tripled farmers’ income. This requires intelligent planning. The administrative review meetings at block level help us gauge the progress at ground level.
Yet, we feel there are many untouched areas where we have to reduce our spending. At times, faulty tendering for some technical reasons results in loss of money for the government. We have to take remedial measures for the same. We have discussed those in detail.
- Effective utilisation of resources was the main subject of discussion today. We have to focus on planning, create an outline, set timelines for projects. For that we will provide counseling and training. Finance Ministry will conduct training programmes. PWD will also train its engineers.
- We have set up a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to adjust and re-adjust human resources. We have set up a project clearance committee. This is a continuous process.
- We have commenced this work with a larger aim of saving as much funds as possible, so that they can be utilised for public services. We have to run the schemes for the people. Despite such financial constraints, huge debt burden, step-motherly attitude from the Centre, we are trying our best to serve the people.
- Government’s money is actually people’s money. There is no scope for luxury. Our approach is completely people-centric, which is required in a democracy. We conducted detailed discussion today and it was fruitful. We received several suggestions and opinions, some of which were good. Finance Ministry and the Chief Secretary adopted the useful suggestions. We have all held discussions together.