Hyderabad: The TS government has still not put in place measures to curb wasteful expenditure — a full four months after state Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao directed financial discipline in all departments.
A committee with senior officials was constituted after Mr Rao took a stand, to suggest measures on curbing wasteful expenditure. It found that as much as Rs 10,000 crore used to go waste every year, and suggested measures to save Rs 2,000 crore.
“There is no scientific approach to determine the spending. While the minority department is spending nearly Rs 1.45 lakh per student in its residential schools, the Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes departments are spending just Rs 45,000 to offer the same facilities.
Despite such a huge variation, no steps were taken to curb wasteful expenditure. Departments are also spending lavishly by purchasing or hiring high-end SUVs,” the committee noted. The committee suggested evolving a uniform benchmark on spending among the departments.
“Purchase or hiring of cars itself is resulting in over 30 per cent of wasteful expenditure,” it noted. Finance minister Etela Rajender took up the issue of wasteful expenditure when he met Mr Rao at his camp office on Monday this week.
“Since the pre-Budget meetings are on at present, it is the right time to discuss the matter and initiate measures. The steps would result in savings of Rs 2,000 crore, which is not a small amount,” sources said.
40 ‘sub-departments’ are leaking loads of cash
The government is increasingly taking loans to fund development programmes and welfare schemes and to meet day-to-day expenses even as it keeps leaking money. Servicing of loans itself imposes a huge burden on the government. For example, it will pay out Rs 10,000 crore next year against Rs 7,500 crore at present.
The government has also been depending on loans for irrigation projects, Mission Bhagiratha and the 2BHK housing scheme. Which is why the government has been forced into a situation where it has to control loose spending immediately. Officials said around 40 departments needed to be “trimmed”.
“These were sub-departments which mushroomed within the main departments. Officials in undivided AP had created these departments for political compulsions. This has resulted in wasteful spending in the form of salaries and operational costs. The staff working in these departments can be shifted to other wings,” finance minister Etela Rajendar said.
The government has also directed heads of department to take up rationalisation of staff based on the fresh survey of employees being taken up by finance department. The government had inherited a debt burden of Rs 60,000 crore when the state was formed back in 2014. In the 30 months since, that debt burden stands at a massive Rs 1.2 lakh crore.