SHILLONG, Nov 27: The government of Meghalaya is leveraging on existing technology so as to ensure that the revenue collection in the state sees an increase of about 30%.
This was informed by Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma in the Assembly on Tuesday wherein he said, “It is not about cutting expenditures but increasing revenue. We are on the job and I have asked all revenue earning departments to ensure best technologies are used to ensure our revenue jumped by 30 percent.”
Replying to a call attention moved by Congress Mawsynram MLA HM Shangpliang during the one day special session of the Assembly held here, Conrad said the transport department has done it by increasing its registration fees and is likely to cross the target fixed at Rs 68 crore within this financial year.
He said the taxation department has intensified collection through audit assessment and data analysis. Additionally other measures like deduction at source under the Meghalaya passengers and goods tax have been notified.
He also informed that the government has decided to come up with a white paper on all the departments to know how they have been functioning and how to improve in the future.
“I want a white paper to be made in all the departments so that we can see in the past five years where we went wrong and where we could improve and ensure money received is implemented in the right manner,” he said.
Earlier, Shangpliang has asked the chief minister who he referred to as the “captain of a sinking ship” to take measures to salvage the state’s exchequer from drying up due to wasteful expenditure.
Shangpliang alleged that in spite of the state reeling under severe financial crisis, ministers are furnishing their buildings and departments are purchasing new vehicles.
He also accused the government of the day of spending on political appointments while stating that there were more than 65 chairmen and co-chairmen besides the appointment of 5-6 advisers.
Meanwhile, Conrad said that apart from the NGT ban on coal mining in the state, the financial position of the state has been worse affected on account of the implementation of the 5th Pay Commission recommendations for both government employees and government - aided institutions.
In order to manage the financial constraints, the government has on September 16 issued instructions to restrict and curtail on government expenditures specially those that are not immediate in nature.
“However, it is not about cutting small expenditures but we have certain expenditures that are required to simply move the engine and system those cannot compromised,” he said.
Stating that purchasing of vehicles is done as per the need, Conrad said, “Wherever there is a necessity to buy a vehicle we do so because we cannot expect an officer to drive his own vehicle as that will be embarrassing for the government plus it is not fair.”
On the allegation of political appointments, Conrad said that he can assure the member that the number of chairmen appointed in the past was much higher than it is now.