ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Misuse of Funds

On finding in the streets of Bhubaneswar, heavily decorated expensive arrangements around the celebration of occasions like first birth anniversary, sacred thread ceremony, wedding anniversary, marriage ceremony, new year's day celebrations and more in increasing numbers, I have always wondered how the people who largely depend on the government of Orissa for their earnings could manage such huge surpluses to afford extravagant spending on such ceremonies at the time when the government's deficit is alarmingly on rise! Further the architecturally grand expensive buildings strewn across the length and breadth of the city of Bhubaneswar too add to my amazement. Such scenario has always raised a suspicion of the presence of a gradient from the government coffers to the individual coffers. The article by D Bandyopadhyay (EPW, December 16, 2000, p 4982) on the Activity Report 98-99 of the CAG has unambiguously demonstrated that the gradient is large; the slope is very steep and allows the money from the government coffers to flow like a torrent to individual coffers. These individuals, whose coffers get filled with government money are not ordinary mortals; they are privileged people of society enjoying an intimate association with the government. Though the figures quoted in the article on the loss or misuse of the public money do not include the case of Orissa, yet the state certainly cannot be an exception, and therefore Bandyopadhyay's article offers an explanation to my suspicion.

Birendra Nayak

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