As a concluding remark in the Executive Summary, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report of 2015 about Financial Audit on State finance of Government of Manipur stated as follows-
There were 4611 Utilization Certificates (UC) involving 2770.18 crore in respect of grants to 34 departments as on 31.3.2014. There were also delays and arrears in finalization of accounts by the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), Autonomous Bodies and Departmental Commercial Undertakings (DFUs). 3 DCUs have not submitted their accounts for more than 10 years and other three for more than 20 years.
I wonder how on earth the Government give full fledge retirement to its servants from department where accounts have not been clear for more than 20 years.
The concluding remark of the report recommended, ‘State Government may consider to strengthen internal controls of the executing agencies to utilize the funds within stipulated time so as to avoid delays in submission to ensure timely finalization and submission of annual accounts by the ADCs, autonomous bodies and DCUs to the office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit) Manipur, and take special drive to expedite the submission of pending annual accounts and UCs’.
The recent moves of the Centre and the State have created ripples in my thought.
THE NAGA ACCORD
On August 3, 2015 the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN(I-M) signed peace accord with the Government of India.
The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015; The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015; and The Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2015 were passed on 31.8.2015. The tribals, especially those from Churachandpur saw it as an attempt to undermine their rights. But tribal MLAs had no remorse for not opposing the bills. Why?
THE FINANCIAL IMPLICATION
The protection of the people of Manipur envisages setting up of a directorate of immigration in the state. Directorate is headed by a director, whose pay would go (by contemporary standard would go as high as 1.3 lakh) Below him is expected at least 5 officers of Additional Director or Deputy Secretary rank, 10 Under Secretaries and a host of gazetted and non-gazetted officers. The number of sub-ordinate staff (grade C and grade D) in such an organization would come to at least 50. The pay of senior officers would come up to Rs. 25 lakhs. Similarly the other staff including Section Officers and below would be earning an equal, if not higher amount. The bottom line is that in the event of the setting up of a directorate an amount of atleast Rs. 60 lakh would come to the state from the Central Government under salary head. Such a large office would require staff cars, petrol, stationery and other consumable goods for maintenance. Thus the non-plan expenditure to such a directorate would come to as high as Rs. 80 lakh per month.
EXPANSION OF THE DIRECTORATE
A day may come when the directorate has grown too small to handle all registrations and renewals in the matter. Eventually district offices have to be opened in Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Chandel, Imphal (East), Senapati, Tamenglong, Thoubal, Ukhrul and Imphal (West) all sucking lakhs of money from the Central Government. In the event of the Sadar Hills district being formed as demanded by the Kukis, the number of districts would come to 10.
EFFICIENCY OF THE DIRECTORATE
A big question mark is staring one in the face; what would be the level of efficiency of the directorate? The efficiency may be good or very good initially. Because the Government has to, at least appoint some experienced person as head, which would give an impression that the office really functions. The head retires and the directorate's is thrown open to the locals. Fake data would be prepared and furnished wherever and whenever. But what kind of people would consist of the 'locals'?
On December 29, 2015 The Jont Action Committee (JAC) against the bills met the Chief Minister wherein they were told that the bills were the brainchild of Corcomm, the undergrounds based in Myanmar. Similarly it is rumoured that head of a revolutionary army had told all MLAs under his jurisdiction to not oppose the bills.
So who will man the directorate and its branches (if there need to be any expansion) ?