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‘Hiding’ facts of State Budget not correct: Suresh Mehta, former CM of Gujarat

BILKULONLINE

By Rafat Quadri

Ahmedabad, March 3: In a forceful, firm and clear message the former Chief Minister of Gujarat Suresh Mehta made serious allegations of ‘hiding’ important documents related to Gujarat Government’s Budget.

Mehta, was earlier with the BJP and chose to quit the same on principles, alleged that the Gujarat Government was advertently hiding the facts which were of extreme important significance.

The Gujarat Government has also violated its fiscal responsibility over the years as the state’s cumulative public debt has touched Rs 3.81 lakh crores, alleged Mehta while naming the important ‘missing documents’ in the Budget announcement.

Mid Term Expenditure Framework, Development Programme, Outcome Budget and Gender Budget are the four important documents that need to be displayed on public domain. Gujarat government has deliberately avoided making it public. This makes the government and its machinery accountable about the on-going projects, progress at each step and the expenditure that has been incurred. It also provides a glance into the future planning of the government projects and further commitments.

Mehta, who is known for his research and knowledge about state affairs and doesn’t shy away pointing the wrong doings of the system and governance explained his point one by one when he showed utter disappointment and arrogance on the part of the Gujarat Government to make its own rules and discard the transparent system of governance and accountability.

Economist and writer Prof Hemant Shah endorsing Mehta’s views added that it is mandatory for the government to keep its people informed about the expenditure it incurs on developmental projects for the state, when it announces the budget. It is the right of the opposition members and the public of the state to know where the expenditure has been incurred by the government; it has to be elaborative and should mention all the money that has been pumped in for any project by any government undertakings and department clearly. He cited examples to substantiate his point.

“In another area of non-democratic style of governance by the Gujarat Government, petitions were not discussed and brought to the forum of state governance. The public petitions pertaining to the state administration of several expenditures, style of functioning, order of preference and so on are the key factors to determine the integrity of governance of Gujarat Government. Sadly for past 22 years the BJP rule state of Gujarat has openly been blatantly not following such norms or rituals. Also, giving status to the opposition members of their dues in state affairs has been disrespected by the governing authorities” observed Mahesh Pandya the environmental and human right activist.

Gujarat’s these thinkers, economists and activists of repute expressed their concerns while pointing out the unfair system of governance of Gujarat government at a press conference in Ahmedabad on Friday.

(Rafat Quadri can be reached at editorbilkul@gmail.com)