Gandhinagar: In an embarrassing admission, the Gujarat government today told the Legislative Assembly that its officials had copied some of the pages from previous budgetary material and printed them as part of the current publication and distributed the same to Members of the House.
The Government was caught off-guard when Abdasa MLA and senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil drew attention of Speaker Vaju Vala during the ongoing Assembly session about the “copy-paste” act of government in preparing budgetary material.
“I went through the material provided to us and found that 25 pages from the budgetary publications of 2013-14 have been printed ‘as it is' in the current budget publication of 2014-15. Apart from some numerical information, everything else is same in both the budget publications,” alleged Gohil.
“Respected speaker, budget-related publications are very important for members. I urge you to protect us from such acts. I request you to give stern order to all those officers who take such matters lightly.
I expect that such mistakes will not happen in future,” Gohil said while addressing the Speaker who in turn sought explanation from Government. On behalf of the government, Health Minister Nitin Patel concurred with Gohil's allegation.
“The issue raised by Gohil is right. However, as soon as we learnt about it from him, we have immediately prepared a corrected version and gave it to all the members before the proceedings started today,” Patel said in his reply.
However, Vala didn't appear to be fully convinced with the government's exercise and rebuked.
“You (Patel) gave a corrected copy after the matter came to your attention. That means that you committed a mistake, which compelled you to do so. But, why such mistake took place in the first place?” asked Vala while addressing Patel and other ministers present in the House.
The Speaker asked the government to be cautious while preparing budget-related material. “You must tell your officers to take extra care in preparing budget-related material. They must pay extra attention and prepare it, because this budget is not just for one year, but, its part of our legacy.
No officer can be forgiven for mistakes they commit in preparing this material. “Give strict orders to all your officers about how to prepare ideal and flawless budget material.
If you (ministers) don't know how to do it then ask the parliamentary affairs secretary to get the work done,” the Speaker said. He also warned the government against repeating such a mistake.
“Corrected versions are given for printing mistakes only, not for whole material meant for House proceedings. Make sure that no such mistake takes place in future,” Vala said.