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Kerala to reward revenue offices

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy during an election Campaign rally supporting Congress Candidate in Coimbatore on April 19, 2014. (Photo: IANS)The top three Kerala districts that bring in more revenues by mopping up outstandings will be rewarded with better office infrastructure, a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced .

State Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash told reporters here that the decision was made at a high-level meeting of all department heads and 14 district collectors.

He said the first three districts will get Rs.10 lakh which will be used to improve the office infrastructure.

“We have not fixed any targets but the district collectors have been asked to increase revenue collections by collecting all outstandings. It has to be done in two phases, with the first one ending this calendar year and the second one at the end of this fiscal,” said Prakash.

This drive comes at a time when the state coffers are short of funds and for the first time since this government assumed office in 2011, the state went into overdraft last month.

At the meeting, it was also decided to see that necessary steps are taken by authorities to dispose of all confiscated vehicles that are lying with the police and excise department.

“These vehicles can either be auctioned or returned to the owner if they provide a bank guarantee or a deposit,” said Prakash.

At the moment there are thousands of such confiscated vehicles lying at various police stations and excise department offices.

A project to conduct sand audits at all the dams in the state was also cleared at the meeting.

“This project was there during the previous Left government’s time, but they did not conduct any sand audit and hence it became a failure,” said Prakash.

“But we have decided to first conduct a sand audit by experienced professionals to identify the quantity of sand in our dams. Once that is done, then it would be sold,” Prakash added.

He suggested that another way to increase the state’s revenue was to give permission to quarries that have all the necessary environmental clearances.

The meeting also decided to create land banks and officials have been asked to identify land which could be used for developmental projects.

The two-day meeting in which ministers and top officials took part ended here Tuesday.

 

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