Deteriorating fiscal health of the state has come under sharp criticism from the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Criticising the government, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has blamed Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government for deteriorating financial condition of the state. Dhumal charged the government with wasting money on luxuries and benefitting “tired” and “retired” persons.
“Unfortunately the state government's priority is to target the individuals and it's benefitting tired and retired bureaucrats,” Dhumal told mediapersons on Monday. Dhumal castigated the government over appointments of chairmen, vice-chairmen and advisers.
“At the time when state is reeling under severe financial crisis, the government is spending on luxuries. Appointment of chairmen, vice-chairmen and advisers is putting unnecessary burden on government. Instead of curtailing unnecessary expenditure, it has resorted to wasteful expenditure,” Dhumal said, who held the “financial mismanagement responsible for the decline in state's finances”.
He claimed that green development loans sanctioned at the time of his regime were making up for the state's finances. He said the government has also reduced the financial grant to the horticulture university from Rs. 70 crore to Rs. 48 crore. “The government should focus more on the government universities. It's unfortunate that retired employees of the agriculture university are still waiting for pensions,” he said.
The former CM alleged that the Virbhadra Singh government had made no efforts to mobilise resources of the state. Dhumal suggested that auction of mineral wealth of the state could help improve financial health of the state. He said the poor were not getting construction material, particularly sand and grit, which was being smuggled to the bordering state.
Dhumal also expressed concern over “illegal activities” like drug trafficking. “It's sad that the government is not paying attention to illegal activities like smuggling, crime and drug trafficking and was rather using cops to fix the political rivals,” he said, adding development in the state has taken a back seat.
The former chief minister criticised the government over frequent transfers of government employees. He added that even the daily wagers are being transferred on political considerations. “Frequent transfers on the political grounds put financial burden, as the government has to pay for tour and daily allowance to a transferred employee,” he said.
Dhumal said the resolutions passed by BJP's executive committee demanding expediting inquiries against chief minister Virbhadra Singh will be taken up with the central government by its national leaders present during the meet.