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Thursday, April 18 2024
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Minister CT Ravi proposes merger of four departments to save administrative costs

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Bengaluru: Tourism minister CT Ravi who is also the minister for Kannada and Culture, sports and youth empowerment and information, and public relations has proposed a merger of these four departments. In a report submitted to the committee headed by revenue minister R Ashok who is heading the committee on administrative reforms which was formed to bring down the government expenses, Ravi jas proposed merger of these four departments as all are interconnected departments and 60% of the 903 posts in all these departments are vacant.

In his report, CT Ravi pointed out that these departments are engaged and working similarly. “The annual budget of these departments is 817.68 crores. However Rs. 113.47 crores alone are the administrative expense incurred. There is a lot of overlapping and it is best these are merged”, he stated.

“Subjects under literature, art, culture, tourism, youth empowerment & sports and information & publicity departments are directly or indirectly similar. Also, the nature of programs and their implementation are alike,” Ravi said in his proposal.

Under these four departments, there are seven wings that include directorates and commissionerates. “The administrative costs come up to Rs 113.47 crore. Besides, of the total 1,768 sanctioned posts across the seven wings, only 865 are filled up. There are 903 posts 60% of which are vacant.

Merging the four departments at the secretariat level will require only 40 posts as against the current sanctioned strength of 116. Bringing all the seven wings under one roof will need 821 posts against 1,768, Ravi has explained in his proposal.

Further, Ravi has suggested that the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation and Jungle Lodges and Resorts can be clubbed into one body, which will save more costs. “Earlier, the departments of Tourism, Kannada & Culture and Information & Public, horticulture and sericulture into a single department. The government may also consider moving the medical education department under Health & Family Welfare.

The R. Ashok Committee set up in February this year is expected to consider the recommendations and submit its final comprehensive report to the government shortly. This committee was set up in the backdrop of the cash crunch caused by the flailing economy caused by a variety of factors including the COVID19 lockdown.

In 2019-20 fiscal, the government incurred Rs 33,611 crore towards paying salaries. In all, the government’s committed expenditure is almost 90% of its revenue receipts; there’s hardly any headroom for new development schemes.

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