Sikkim chief minister PS Golay (right) said that the salary upgrade, uniform and improvement of facilities to the state home guards will also be taken care of soon

Gangtok: Expressing serious concern over the amount of debt inherited by the present government from the previous one, Sikkim chief minister PS Golay said that his government has taken various austerity measures to curtail government expenses at the earliest.

Elaborating on such measures, Golay said that he has asked his ministers to avoid pilot cars, expensive vehicles or visiting the new STNM Hospital for minor medical issues, among others.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Sikkim (SBS) has fixed loans, advances and cash credit limit to Sikkim government and public sector undertakings at Rs 386.40 crore. This was stated on the floor of the state assembly by CM Golay while replying to a question raised by Soreng-Chakung MLA Aditya Golay, who also happens to be CM Golay’s son, on Thursday.

As on July 19, 2019, total outstanding loans and advances to private individuals and companies in the state have raised to Rs 1,693.22 crore in 14,116 accounts. The minister also informed the House that the demonetised notes deposited and exchanged in SBS during the period of demonetisation was Rs 70.73 crore.

Replying to the query on Teesta Oorja, CM Golay, who is also the minister for finance, revenue and expenditure department, informed the House that the government will now save Rs 3.45 crore after curtailing salaries of eight senior officers in Teesta Oorja.

He further highlighted how 13 hydel projects were introduced in the state in 2005, out of which only one was taken up, namely Teesta Oorja, and the state government held 60.8% share of it.

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Regarding the annual debt of SBS, the minister further said that an amount of Rs 23.76 crore has been written off/waived since October 2002 to till date. “Records prior to October 2002 are not available,” he added.

“As per the records, altogether 17,306 candidates were given office order under the One Family One Job Scheme. Tentative payment of salary amount per month comes to around Rs 18.5, 585,126 and its annual expenditure per annum is expected to be Rs 2,227,021,512,” the minister said.

He further welcomed the suggestions placed by MLA Aditya Golay of converting Pakyong and Soreng into districts which will help to minimise the traffic issues. He also mentioned that the salary upgrade, uniform and improvement of facilities to the state home guards will also be taken care of soon.

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