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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The State government on Saturday served show cause notice to Prabir Kumar Pradhan, Ex-Engineer-in-Chief (EIC), Rural Works to reply in connection with incurring expenditure of nearly Rs 2282 crore ear marked for maintenance works without formulating an action plan.

Pradhan, presently serving as the Principal Secretary to Rural Development (RD) department has been asked to keep his views on the matter within a week from issuance of the notice.

‘As per the guidelines issued by Finance Department on Regulation of Expenditure out of Annual Budget, each controlling officer on receipt of budgetary allocation should prepare an annual maintenance plan and submit it to the administrative department for approval in concurrence of Finance Department,’ the notice by the RD department read, asking Pradhan to answer why he spent the amount without an approval of action plan.

The notice pointed out that Pradhan has not taken approval of Maintenance Plan and spent Rs 2282 crore for maintenance works of roads, buildings between 2013-14 and 2016-17. Similarly, he is also yet to deposit the annual maintenance plan for 2017-18 even after lapse of six months from the date of authorisation to incur expenditure out of annual budget. In view of this negligence and dereliction of duty, the department has asked Pradhan to say why any action should not be initiated against him for such lapses.

The notice further read that the matter has been forwarded to the Chief Secretary AP Padhi.

Asked, Pradhan simply declined to comment anything on the matter. “I am yet to get the notice and only after I receive it, I will be able to clarify on the subject,” he said.

Notably, Pradhan was earlier ousted from the RD department and was recently reinstated back into it. So general question arises how the former EIC could use all the money without getting approval and was there any matter of PC issue or even undue favours.

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