Pramod Sawant.. Image Source: IANS News

Panaji, Oct 27 : Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday urged bureaucrats not to cheat him vis a vis details of development work in the state's rural areas, saying he is well connected to people on the ground and was therefore in a position to spot misinformation.

Speaking at a function organised at the State Secretariat to mark Vigilance Awareness Week, Sawant was also critical of government offices continuing to block the entry of visitors, falsely citing Covid-19 pandemic regulations.

"Do not try to cheat me. I am connected to the people on the ground. I can get information on any panchayat right here," Sawant said, while addressing heads of departments of the Goa government. Sawant also complained of government officers misinforming him about the details of the development-related work being carried out in the villages.

The Chief Minister slammed the heads of departments and government secretaries for not facilitating online governance, which he said was one of the reasons why Goa had slipped from 19 to 24 in the ease of business ranking.

"I asked the Director of Information (and Publicity) to send me details of all government department websites. 150 department websites were checked, the officer realised that websites of 70 to 80 departments are not functional," Sawant said.

The Chief Minister was also critical of government officers continuing to deter members of the public from visiting offices for genuine reasons.

"Covid is over, but government servants continue to shoo away people who visit offices. This has to stop. Some offices still follow the practice of putting a table across the door. This has to be done away with," Sawant said.

The Chief Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic was a setback to the state government revenues and the focus of his government was to plug existing revenue leakages.

"We have two focuses. Plugging of leakages and looking for avenues to increase our revenue. We will also need to reduce expenditure," Sawant said.

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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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