Manipur deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh (left) and state minister Thongam Biswajit Singh Credit: Facebook

Imphal: In a major development, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh has reportedly stripped deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh of the finance portfolio on Thursday. The move comes in the wake of the financial situation prevailing in the state.

Apart from Singh, another senior minister, Thongam Biswajit Singh, has got the sack — he has reportedly been removed from key departments like PWD and power.

As per the reshuffle, CM Singh has now taken over finance, power, PWD, excise, taxation in addition to his existing portfolios. Similarly, deputy CM Joykumar, who belongs to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in the state — National People’s Party (NPP) — has retained science and technology, economics and statistics and civil aviation.

Meanwhile, Biswajit Singh has been given portfolios of rural development and panchayati raj, commerce and industries, administrative reforms and training, informationa and public relations.

The decision, which might have wide political ramifications in days to come in the Northeast state, was taken following a state Cabinet meeting that authorised the chief minister to take all necessary disciplinary actions to imbibe a culture of financial prudence and property in key government departments.

Meanwhile, sources close to the state Cabinet members inform EastMojo that a thorough investigation of the sanction procedures and financial management would be conducted for all key departments. “The government is committed to bringing a new phase wherein financial discipline will be the hallmark of governance. The government also assures its employees that timely disbursement of salaries and benefits will not be impacted,” sources added.

Earlier, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a ban on all transaction of funds from the account of Manipur government with effect from June for having overdrawn in excess of arrangements agreed upon with the bank.

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On Tuesday, Anita Kumari, assistant general manager of RBI, in a statement to the chairman, State Bank of India (SBI), asked to stop the payment to the government of Manipur with effect from June 12 and conveyed the same to its branches engaging in financial transaction with the state.

“The account of the government has been overdrawn in excess of the arrangement agreed upon with the Reserve Bank of India. It has therefore been decided as per extant procedure, to stop payments of government of Manipur with effect from June 12,” the statement said.

It is reported that the state faces overdraft of Rs 247.48 crore, exceeding 36 days in a quarter, as per the scheme of ‘Ways and Means Advances’ to the state government.

Taking up austerity measures, the Manipur government has put on hold any recruitment process currently undertaken by any department with immediate effect from June 12.

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