Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has directed the state administration to cut down all “unnecessary expenditure”, incurred in his official programmes, to help strengthen state finances.
Baghel said that during his visit to various parts of the state, he noticed that large amounts of money were spent on decorating programme venues. He noted that unnecessary expenses were also incurred on tents, canopies and decorations in these programmes.
“The chief minister had directed the authorities that only basic arrangements should be made with minimum expenditure in his official programme,” a state government spokesperson said. He had instructed the chief secretary to issue a circular to the officials concerned in this connection.
The move is a part of measures aimed at bolstering state finances ahead of a planned payout of bonus to farmers.
After the Centre allegedly denied permission to the state to procure paddy for Rs 2500 a quintal, the state government decided to pay the difference to the farmers under a different scheme.
Chhattisgarh started procurement at minimum support price (MSP) instead of Rs 2500 per quintal that was paid to the farmers in the last kharif marketing season after the Centre said that it would not procure paddy from the state for the central pool if it paid a bonus to farmers. The Centre also turned down Chhattisgarh’s request to purchase 3.2 MT rice instead of 2.4 MT for the central pool, a move that could have provided some financial support to the state.
The state had set a target to procure 8.5 million tonnes (MT) of paddy in the kharif marketing season 2019-20.
Baghel launched austerity measures soon after taking over as the chief minister in December 2018. He stopped all state government departments and establishment from publishing diaries and calendars last year. Apart from this, the appointment in the boards and corporations were also delayed to save money.