Krishna Puskarams in AP reek of corruption
Hyderabad: The uncontrolled spending for Krishna Puskarams underlines the TDP government’s disregard for the financial crisis the state is facing. At the end of June, the state has reported Rs 3,500 crore revenue deficit against the total expenditure of Rs 28,500 crore.
But the TDP leadership is not sparing any resources for Krishna Puskaram arrangements. Last year in the name of Godavari Puskarams, government had spent more than Rs 1500 crore. Following the same route, the TDP government has already earmarked Rs 1080 crore for Krishna Puskarams.
“We have additional demand for works worth of Rs 350 crore pending and the expenditure for Krishna Puskaram is set to cross Rs 1500 crore. We have no clue from where the money would come as the revenue deficit for the first quarter has already hit the ceiling,” said a senior official in the finance department.
Politicians found an innovative route to get around the Rs 5-lakh limit to sanction works to private individuals. As per the existing norms, the government has to invite tenders for any work worth more than Rs 5 lakh. But, political bosses and officials delayed the finalization of works so that there would be little time to complete the arrangements. As there is no time, the works can be taken up on emergency basis without inviting tenders.
Now, after delaying for over three months, officials sent proposals to the government seeking approval to take up works on ‘nomination’ basis. In this process, works will be awarded without inviting bids. This would lead to corruption as ministers, MLAs and officials can hand over works to their favourites.
Officials even floated companies to grab contracts and there are allegations that roads and buildings department officials have handed over crores of rupees worth electrical and lighting contracts to a company owned by a brother-in-law of an R&B engineer. Without checking the credentials of the companies and their promoters, contracts are given based on the commission they offer to political leaders and officials.
Civil works at many places have not been completed and contractors are now demanding higher amount citing lack of time and need to deploy more workers. Interestingly, most of the contracts are being allotted by CMO even before a proper administrative sanction from endowment or finance departments.
“The file comes after the contractor starts the work and CMO officials point out that the work was granted by the chief minister. There is no rate fixation, nothing about the experience and no limit to expenditure,” said an endowment official.
Three ministers and about half a dozen MLAs and MPs are deciding who should get which work and at what rate. With no control on the administration, lower level officials also got into business to make a killing by grabbing contracts on nomination basis.
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