DIMAPUR, Nov 11 � The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has asked the Nagaland government as to how the staggering Budget deficit of Rs 1,252.45 crore could be accepted as normal when the State is currently on a Plan holiday for the second consecutive year bringing all major developmental works to a grinding halt.
In a release today, the NPCC pointed out that many State government employees are not getting their salaries in time, while teachers under the School Education Department have unpaid salaries for the past six months. Moreover, payment to contractors has also not been made for a long, even as the Chief Minister and his colleagues have made repeated trips to Delhi for the past five months without any success.
The NPCC made the statement in response to Parliamentary Secretary for School Education Yitachu�s contention that the State�s deficit of Rs 1252.45 crore is �normal�.
�If Yitachu feels that the deficit is normal, why did the Chief Minister and his colleagues beg in front of the Prime Minister for wiping out the deficit and in return getting yoga lessons?� it asked.
Giving the figures of government employees in Manipur (65,000), Sikkim (35,000), Arunachal Pradesh (45,000) and Meghalaya (55,000), the NPCC sought to know how Nagaland landed up with over 1,25,000 employees. �This is the net result of random political appointments made by the NPF government for the past 12 years giving scant regard to the 13th Finance Commission recommendations that States ought to spend 35% of their Budget on salaries of government employees,� it stated.
For Nagaland, the 13th Finance Commission assessment of salary payment was at Rs 1,474.85 crore for one year, but during 2012-13, a total expenditure of Rs 2,570.32 crore was incurred, Rs 3,119.73 crore for 2013-14 and over Rs 3,580 crore estimated for 2014-15.
It said, in 2011-12, the total number of State government employees was 1,10,038, which leapfrogged to 1,20,819 by 2012-13, an increase of 10,781 employees within a year. By 2013-14, another 4,791 employees were appointed taking the figure to 1,25,309 serving employees, the State Congress said.
Stating that the State has an excess of 54,689 employees, the Congress said the State needs to retrench 46,599 employees to maintain financial stability. However, instead of retrenching the employees, random backdoor appointments are continuing unabated, bringing the State to a situation where the salary expenditure gobbles up 60 per cent of the total revenue expenditure which is over and above the 35% limit set by the 13th Finance Commission, it stated.