TODAY -

Biswajit junks PWD scam slur, slams Congress
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 13 2022: Refuting the allegation of Rs 800 crore scam in the PWD, works minister Thongam Biswajit said that the allegation is a futile attempt of the Congress party to take political advantage.

Briefing media persons at his official residence here on Thursday, Biswajit called opposition MLA Meghachandra an incompetent public representative stating that he had already been provided budget copy in the state assembly session.

So far, the financial position of the department is transparent and it is rather surprising for Congress to make the baseless allegation.

While conveying that the clarification is being made in order to clear any misunderstanding among the public, the minister pointed out that the amount of Rs 800 crore as mentioned by the Congress MLA is not even reflected in the budget 2021-22 .

The budget estimate for works department for 2021-22 is Rs 754.0036 crore but the funding has been reduced by 40 per cent in minor works and 60 per cent in major works due to Covid-19 pandemic.

After the deduction, the department received Rs 631.81 crore out of which Rs 555.7158 crore is tentative budget reserved for state matching share for external aided projects taken up under Asian Development Bank.

Rs 134.7 crore for SRCIP, Rs 20 crore for road projects under NABARD, Rs 20 crore for bridge projects under NABARD, Rs 5.7958 crore for NLCPR, Rs 14.22 crore for CRIF works and Rs 180 crore for Ring Road are included in the tentative budget while another sum of Rs 18 crore is reserved as state matching share for different projects including SRCIP, NLCPR, NEC, IT and Ring Road, the minister explained.

The plan fund of Rs 154 crore was reduced by 60 per cent and as such only Rs 90 crore was received by the department.

Rs 3 crore out of the budget share of Rs 150 crore had been utilised on payment of land compensation and after reduction of 40 per cent, the department got Rs 87 crore only.

All those restrictions in budget share were issued by the finance department from time to time, he said.

Regarding the allegation of the department not issuing work orders, the minister said that several work programmes are under process and work orders will be issued once the processes are completed.

As for the allegations of 90 per cent liabilities for financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20, the liabilities are only about Rs 25 crore for 2018-19 and Rs 320 crore for 2019-20 .

The reason for these liabilities is execution of two works at a cost of twice the estimated cost under as one-time special central assistant project in 2017-18 for which the Centre did not release funding, the minister said.


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