The Meghalaya government, it seems, has fulfilled an idler’s dream of getting paid for doing nothing.
Meghalaya’s directorate of state lotteries (DSL) had virtually stopped functioning in August 2008 after the state government stopped all lottery schemes introduced in September 2001.
But the government let the 27 DSL employees remain with the dormant directorate, and paid them just to sign their attendance registers.
The government paid these 27 a total Rs 5.69 crore in eight years till 2016 instead of redeploying them elsewhere in the excise, registration, taxation and stamps department, the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said.
DSL is under this department that has 112 vacancies.
“Failure of the department to effectively manage manpower resulted in unfruitful expenditure of Rs 5.69 crore towards payment of salary to idle staff,” the CAG report said.
The auditor also found irregularities worth Rs 34.42 crore in the state’s lottery schemes regulated under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1988, and the Meghalaya State Lottery Rules, 2002.
The CAG report coincided with the revelation in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly last weekend that the Congress-led alliance government had “drained the state exchequer” of Rs 12.44 crore on a series of festivals besides, producing a dud Bollywood film, Rock On 2.
The festivals include 18 Degrees Festival in 2014, Terra Madre in 2015 and Cherry Blossom Festival in 2016.