On the State's Finces
Tarun Gogoi’s statement of Monday that the fincial condition of the State is quite stable and not as grim as it is made out to be by the BJP, needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt. After all, it is not just the BJP that has assessed the State’s fincial condition as being far from satisfactory. The State’s fincial condition is quite precisely reflected by its ibility to pay salaries on time. Has the Chief Minister already forgotten that two teachers were forced to commit suicide because they had not received their salaries for over three years? How can one accept that the State’s fincial condition is stable if it is uble even to pay salaries for three years or more? What is much worse is the cruel policy of selection of which segment of the government’s employees should be deprived of their salaries while the more fortute segments with much higher salaries are never required to miss even a single month’s pay. Why is it that ministers and MLAs or senior bureaucrats are never expected to forgo their pay packets even for a month when they are really in a much better position to do so than the poor teachers? Why does the government pick on the most vulnerable and low-paid segments of society for deprivation? This is the typical behaviour of bullies and not what one expects of a democratically elected government. We are not even talking of the bridges and embankments that routinely collapse and of a government that has no means repairing or replacing them. We are talking of a government that cannot pay the salaries of some of its employees for years. How can the Chief Minister of such a State claim that its fincial condition is stable after privileged parasites have also been helped to loot the exchequer?