Austerity measures

The topic of the day “austerity measures” is being reported almost in every type of media. The corrective steps taken by the government to bring down the cost of running daily affairs are welcome but only if these are genuine and not targeted at coming elections in some States.

Those in power may have given priority to these austerity measures keeping in view the media hype it will create, which may benefit the ruling party during the coming elections. There are urgent issues that deserve the immediate attention of the ministries concerned to save tax-payers’ money many more times than what we will save through austerity measures.

The amount our nation loses due to cost escalation and delays in income generation from the infrastructure projects runs into lakhs of crores. Present-day circumstances demand setting of a mechanism to calculate the cost of escalation on the projects which get completed years after the scheduled date.

The delays in completion of projects not only eat into taxpayer’s money but also cause a lot of frustration and inconvenience to the general public.

There is a need to create a high-powered regulatory body which has the authority to review the progress of all the projects on a continuous basis and punish those responsible for causing such delays. We have a mature electorate which is competent enough to understand the intentions of government in implementing different measures and its impact on cost saving.

DILIP K RAINAChartered Accountant

B.Com; FCA (ICAI); PGDFM; PGDCA; DBM; Cert. IFRS (ICAEW); Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Application for Microsoft   Dynamics NAV .

The Hindu Business Line

http://www.blonnet.com/2009/09/22/stories/2009092250320800.htm

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