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Deccan Herald » National » Full Story

Parrikar’s ‘advisors’ cost Goa a packet

Just the salary bill of 15 advisors-at-large and consultants appointed by the Goa Chief Minister, is costing the state over Rs 50 lakh a year.

The corporate style of governance initiated in Goa by IIT-educated Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is straining the state’s coffers. And no one is quite certain this largesse has produced any results.

Some 17 persons have been retained by the BJP government here as advisors, consultants or officers on special duty. Among them a former chief secretary R C Sinha is paid a salary of Rs 50,000 a month, apart from perks like rent-free accommodation, medical expenses, an official car and other entitlements. Mr Sinha holds the designation of ‘senior advisor’, but his duties, as well as those of former Commonwealth bureaucrat Alban Couto, who has also been retained as advisor, remain a mystery to the public in general.

Also on the list provided to the state Assembly on Tuesday, are two horticulture consultants from Bangalore, Mr C R Seetharam of Project and System Management Services, and Mr S K Bhat from TEDMAG. One is paid a monthly fee of Rs 25,000 and is given state guest house accommodation and travel expenses, the other gets a lumpsum fee of Rs 28,000 and Rs 30,000 for travel.

Perhaps the most wasteful consultancy fee doled out by Mr Parrikar went to Dr A K Singh, who was paid Rs 11 lakh a year, besides furnished accommodation, for providing the government technical advice on improvements to state government medical facilities. Two years down the line, the government hospitals have seen little or no improvement, and garbage lies openly strewn around in the Goa Medical College compound.

Mr Anumpam Saraph, retained as Advisor on Information Technology is also paid a hefty Rs 50,000 a month, besides the car, telephone, “office support facilities”. His 18 months in service here have failed to lift Goa into mainstream IT.

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