A retired officer of the Maharashtra government has suggested a way to counter the crunch of money faced by it. The officer has claimed that the state government can get back at least Rs 1 lakh crore if his suggestions are followed. Taking cognisance of his suggestion, the state government too, has asked all the departments to surrender their unspent funds to it by May 31.
Rajaram Dinde retired as a sports officer last year. In his 29 years tenure, he worked in various parts of the state. Based on his experience and observations of the functioning of the government, he suggested tips to get money.
“The state government should direct all the heads of departments to submit the statement of unspent money by them in the last 25 to 30 years. There will be at least Rs 1 lakh crore lying in various bank accounts of these departments,” Rajaram Dinde, said. The retired sports officer wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on May 1.
“In the Sports Directorate alone, Rs 1,000 crore is lying idle for the last 30 years. An average Rs Rs 5 crore to Rs 25 crore fund is parked in the Personal Ledger Account and District Multi Game Bank Accounts of District Sports Officers in the state. If the state government reviews unspent and idle funds lying in various bank accounts of 35 district sports officers and eight deputy directors, the state government will certainly get back a minimum Rs 1,000 crore from them,” he stated in his letter. The Chief Minister Office replied to his tweet on the same day. It was then mentioned in the Government Resolution issued on May 4 by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta.
“A large amount of funds is lying idle in various departments and offices working under them. All these funds should be surrendered back to the state government. Unless you surrender such funds, your bills will not be sanctioned. If any officer fails to surrender the amount to the state government, a departmental inquiry will be initiated against him,” Chief Secretary Mehta said in his order.
“Till 2006, the money sent by the state government used to remain with the District Treasury Office. The departments will have to pursue them and bribe them to get this fund. In 2006, the state government started to transfer the fund directly into the account of the department head at district and division level. The district level officers, while distributing funds of personal benefits or benefits payable to various groups, organisations and industries, used to draw a Demand Draft (DD) in the name of the beneficiary person or organisation. For this, the required amount for the DD used to get transferred to the bank issuing the DD. Many times , these DD were not actually given to the beneficiaries by the officers for various reasons. The main reason was that officers expected bribes that the beneficiaries could not refuse to pay. Thousands of such DDs are lying in various offices and banks across the state, which have all been forgotten now. When I was a sports officer in Jalna, I found DDs amounting to Rs 88 lakh were lying idle for decades,” he added.
Rs 5,000 crore identified in past
Around 2011, the then Finance Secretary Vidyadhar Kanade, while reviewing the expenditure of government funds related to various construction work, found that money sent by the state government was not spent.
“He then directed all the departments to surrender the unspent find related to construction work. Around Rs 5,000 crores fund meant for construction was then found lying idle in various department’s bank accounts,” a senior officer, who was part of this process, told FPJ.