The alliance partners of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government namely Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party and the independent MLA Rohan Khaunte on Saturday stated that the state administration has collapsed totally, whose responsibility incidentally does not lie with the ailing Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, but should be attributed to the bureaucrats who are non functional in spite of being healthy.
Minister for Revenue and Information Technology Rohan Khaunte, speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, said that the ministers and legislators are answerable to the people, while the bureaucrats are not. “Taking advantage of this situation, these bureaucrats have turned so lethargic that now they don’t even feel they are answerable
to even the Chief Minister,” Khaunte observed, informing that last week, he had personally met the Chief Minister and sought his intervention in the matter.
“I have now altogether stopped going to my office at the Secretariat, for the same reason, as also have reduced the speed of my performance since the bureaucrats just cannot cope up with my speed,” Khaunte maintained, adding that his efforts to make Goa an IT destination are not being duly supported by the bureaucrats, especially as far as the creation of an infrastructure for the same is concerned.
“Furthermore, the reforms brought into the revenue sector are also not receiving adequate response from the bureaucrats,” the Minister for Revenue lamented, pointing out that he, till now, is functioning with the same funds allocated to his departments through the budget. “I have to do a balancing act with these funds by handling departmental works, on one hand while carrying out works in various constituencies, on the other,” he revealed, noting that the finance department, since last four months, has been playing table tennis while sitting on the files, which in turn is hampering the plans of his department.
Khaunte also mentioned that “the finance department overrules the decisions of the ministers and comes out with its own administrative decisions, which is not acceptable.”
Senior MGP leader Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar, also voicing the same grievances, said that his party has already demanded handing over the administrative charge of the government to a senior-most minister in the cabinet. “The problem we are facing is that the ministers as well as the MLAs cannot meet the Chief Minister, and have to approach either the Indian Administrative Service officers in the administration, or the Officers on Special Duty at the Office of the Chief Minister,” he observed, adding that “this has now become very uncomfortable and frustrating as the minister and MLAs are not getting expected responses.”
Dhavalikar also said that the independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar has also spoken about this problem, and the voice of dissent is growing against the state administration.
President of Goa Forward Party Vijai Sardesai said that the alliance partners of the government have sounded an alert. “In politics, when something is going wrong, it has to be pointed out,” he stated, adding that the members of the cabinet are pointing out a serious discrepancy; something which has to be taken notice of and amended through corrective measures.
“Eventually, we the ministers go to the people and therefore, are accountable to them,” Sardesai said, pointing out, “However, the bureaucracy is neither accountable, nor have to deliver, so this friction between the bureaucracy and the executive is bound to be there, and it’s going to be accentuated whenever a very proactive and workaholic Chief Minister like Manohar Parrikar goes missing; so it was to be expected.”
Speaking further, the Goa Forward Party chief said that he had recently pointed out at a specific failure of bureaucracy by citing example of non-implementation of a scheme waiving off infrastructure tax to ethnic Goans for building new house. “On the other hand, some of the ministers have generalised this situation,” he observed, maintaining that the political class has pointed out the bureaucratic lethargy, the bureaucratic insensitiveness and corrective measures have to be taken.
Sardesai also told this daily that the ministers cannot blame the Chief Minister because the situation is not his making, and is due to an uncontainable medical situation.