BJP accuses Finance Dept of allowing Rs 44,260.13 cr to remain unclaimed

GANGTOK, 17 JAN:

A Bharatiya Janata Party delegation led by the Sikkim-unit president, DB Chauhan, and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha vice president, Sancho Sungdyangmu, and publicity secretary Pemba Jangbo Sherpa met the Secretary of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department, Government of Sikkim, today.

In a press release issued today, the party has said that the main reason behind the meeting was to submit a memorandum accusing the Department of “mismanagement and huge loss of public funds” amounting to Rs 44,260.13 crore by Sikkim Lottery.

According to the CAG (Comptroller Auditor General) report, different marketing agents have not deposited a sum of Rs 44,260.13 crore to government treasury and no steps have been initiated by the State government and the concerned department so far.

The party has alleged that the marketing agents are selected by manipulating the process and there is no transparency in the tender process. For tender process, they call the highest bidder for optimum revenue benefit and this negotiation and practice of the Department has deprived the revenue benefit to the state, it is alleged.

Marketing Agents who have outstanding liabilities or dues are being allowed to participate in bid, BJP alleges. The company Tashi Delek Gaming Solution was embroiled in a legal battle with the State Government due to default in payment but the company was still allowed to participate in the bid.

Since the Department of Finance and Revenue is under the Chief Minister, the party has questioned his role on this matter.

“His period of Chief Minister-ship is one of the darkest periods in the administration of Sikkim and the revenue is quite nil rather, Sikkim has total external debt of Rs 43 thousand crore,” the release states.

Through the memorandum, BJP Sikkim wants to draw the attention of the Department of Finance to look upon the matter seriously and take action.

The memorandum has given the Department an ultimatum of 15 days to issue a clarification failing which BJP Sikkim Chapter will use the democratic process to protest against the corrupt practice in government, the release adds.