Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today lashed out at the Odisha government for its new guidelines on work orders for government projects and accused it of looting public money.

The Petroleum minister said that the BJP will hold a 10-day long demonstration protesting the new guideline of the State government and will not let embezzlement of taxpayers' money.

"The new guideline to award government projects up to Rs 5 lakh without tender is the new strategy of the BJD to send money to its party workers. With this, the government has given the go-ahead to its workers to loot money of the people of Odisha," Pradhan alleged.

Pradhan also criticized the newly-launched PEETHA scheme.

However, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra refuted the allegations of the Union Minister stating that the new resolution of the State government is 'just like' the guidelines of the Centre.

"The argument of Dharmendra Pradhan is unfortunate. Odisha government has just executed the guidelines of the Centre and the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Odisha Assembly; BJP MLAs are also part of the PAC," said Patra.

Earlier today, the ruling-BJD brought a resolution stating 'the existing system of selection of Village Level Leader (VLL) for the execution of developmental works up to Rs 5 lakh is done away with immediate effect'. With this, there will be no need of floating tender for government projects up to Rs 5 lakh.

Besides, project cost up to Rs 10 lakh will be taken up departmentally and tender process will be followed for projects costing more than Rs 10 lakh.