ALSO READI won't be hankering for the PM's post in 2019, says Nitish Kumar Congress reaches out to Nitish Kumar as questions linger over Bihar grand alliance Keeping allies on tenterhooks Why Lalu's fodder scam trial has put Nitish Kumar in a political dilemma Nitish Kumar's JD(U) puts Lalu Prasad's son Tejaswi Yadav on notice
With uncertainty looming large on the prospects of Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance government in Bihar, the governance appears to be the first causality. Many important decisions have been put off or delayed considering the political instability.
Even the cabinet meeting was postponed twice and finally took place on Wednesday. "But that was also pretty basic and took care of the small matters like rationalisation of taxes on fertilisers after the implementation of the GST. There is a complete standstill in government offices. Leave alone policy decisions, even the routine working has been halted. Everyone is waiting for the fog of instability to be over," said a senior IAS official.
One look at the government activities indicates the slowdown. The industries department had decided last month that it would formalise a list of probable start-ups by the first week of July. However, the list is not ready even a month later. Even work on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "seven resolves" has been stopped as the officials now seem to be more interested in the political squabbling between the alliance partners.
Even, the most routine works like transfer of IAS and IPS officials in the state have not taken place this year. The state police officials, who have been promoted to the IPS ranks, have been waiting for posting orders as the notification is pending for a month now. The state government is yet to release the senior officials for the central deputation.
Several of the state government department has stopped working altogether. During a review meeting on state expenditure, it was revealed that the state government could not spend even 10% of its annual budget in the first quarter of the FY18. The seven departments adopted such a lack-luster attitude that they couldn't spend 1% of their allocation during the first quarter. Many departments in the state have stopped passing the bills ever since the JD(U) has decided to back the NDA in the presidential election.
"The ruling alliance is going through a rough patch. There is no point denying it. This, however, has now started the governance. This shouldn't have happened. Both the ministers and the bureaucrats have now adopted a wait-and-watch policy. The bureaucracy is afraid to take any decisions as they are not sure about whether their bosses would remain or not. Everyone is waiting for the deadlock to be over", says an IAS official.