In a rare move, the state legislature has asked the Maharashtra government to furnish details about the status of annual budgets presented in the past, projects announced in the last ten years and their current status.
Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil has asked the finance department to provide details of the projects that were approved in the assembly sessions
While the finance ministry announces new projects and plans in its annual budget in March, the progress and expenditure incurred remains in the dossiers at Mantralaya.
However, the legislature secretariat, which grants approvals to these projects, has now asked for details, prompting the finance department to give a wake-up call to other state departments. Acting on the order, the finance department has asked all departments to forward the information directly to the legislature secretariat.
Details like the list of development projects and schemes announced in the annual budget, actual budget provisions made for them, actual expenditure incurred and present status have to be submitted (mid-day has a copy of the communication to state departments).
According to sources, the directive has come from Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil, who has also served as a finance minister in the past for a brief period.
While the annual budget is tabled in March, and the state’s resources are allocated accordingly, it has been noticed that supplementary demands by the government are also presented in almost every session of the state legislature. This loses the sanctity of demands presented in the annual budget and lacks financial prudence, said a senior official.
Sources claim that the suggestion has come from none other than Governor K Sankaranarayanan, who believes that the annual financial statement should be sought from the government on a regular basis, to evaluate the true picture of the state’s finances, projects undertaken by the government and actual expenditure incurred.
The Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Eknath Khadse, has welcomed the move, saying that the government has been unwilling to offer any details about the projects announced in the past and their status.
“These details will help the legislature understand the actual scenario and prepare accordingly for the future,” Khadse said. Walse-Patil was away on a tour and could not be contacted.