In a telling reflection of the state of affairs in the Kiran Kumar Reddy administration, the first file signed by the chief minister way back in December last year is yet to see the light of the day.
Kiran Kumar was appointed as chief minister on November 25 last year, and took charge of the state’s affairs on December 1. On that very same day, the new chief minister cleared his first file, which pertained to increasing dietary charges for in-patients in government hospitals across the state.
From the existing Rs 20 per day, the dietary charge for general patients was doubled to Rs 40 per day while that for TB/mentally challenged and therapeutic patients was hiked from the existing Rs 28 to Rs 56 per day.
From the chief minister’s office, the file went to the health department on December 6, 2010, and after examining the contents, the health department sent it to the finance department for clearance on December 27.
According to sources, the finance department cleared the file on March 2, 2011, after which the file was sent back to the health department for implementation. On June 6 this year, the proposal got the final clearance and a government order to that effect was issued on June 7.
However, even before the proposal could be implemented, it was kept in abeyance on July 15, 2011, by new health special chief secretary G Sudhir. “There were complaints from contractors with regard to the new proposal. As a result, the GO pertaining to hike in the dietary charges has been kept on hold,” said the sources. “The GO was meant to provide relief to about 34,000 in-patients in the various government hospitals across the state,” they added.
Even as the chief secretary’s office is checking with the health department as to the reasons for the delay in the implementation of the first file cleared by the chief minister, the canteen suppliers, who provide food for the inmates of the government hospitals, have stated that even after the dietary charges are doubled, that amount would not be sufficient to provide the recommended quality diet for patients.
“This is the state of affairs with reference to one file whose implementation would require only a few additional crores of rupees,” lamented one official.
Senior officials in the state government are now concerned that the administration may see a further downslide in the coming days in view of the strike threat by various Telangana government employee associations from August 1.
“With 12 ministers from the Telangana region staying away from office after their resignations, work in the departments headed by them has virtually come to a standstill with only a few senior officers going to the concerned minister’s residence and getting the important files cleared. If the strike happens from August 1, there will be virtually no administration left,” said the sources. TOI