Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeIndiaGovernancePay bill in 7 days, or no tea-coffee on credit — Maharashtra...

Pay bill in 7 days, or no tea-coffee on credit — Maharashtra govt tells ministers, secretaries

The Maharashtra govt has cracked down because an undetermined amount of money is owed to the canteen of Mantralaya, the state secretariat.

Text Size:

Mumbai: Starting this year, ministers and secretaries in the Maharashtra government will not be able to order tea, coffee and biscuits from the state canteen with just a phone call, unless their departments promise to clear the bill within seven days.

An undetermined amount of money is owed to the canteen of Mantralaya, the state secretariat, so the Maharashtra government has cracked down on its departments, directing them to clear all bills within a week or forget about availing refreshment services on credit. The state general administration department issued a resolution to this effect last week.

“We recently undertook a review of the pending bills of the Mantralaya canteen, and it seems like a huge sum. The records are so scattered that it is difficult to determine exactly how much is pending and since when, or even which department owes it,” an official of the general administration department told ThePrint.

“Sometimes, ministers hold more than one portfolio and when they order for refreshments during their meetings, the personal assistant doesn’t even make a note of which department these refreshments are for. So, it makes it difficult for the canteen to chase people and recover the amount,” the official added.

In an audit of the canteen’s finances towards the end of 2020, the Accountant General of Maharashtra too raised strong objections to the pending amount for refreshments supplied on credit, the official said.

Also read: Mantralaya’s room 602 — an office so ‘unlucky’ that Ajit Pawar has refused to occupy it

New canteen credit rules from 1 January

The Mantralaya canteen extends a credit facility for refreshments ordered by the offices of the chief minister, cabinet ministers, ministers of state, chief secretary, secretaries as well as joint and deputy secretaries for official meetings.

The general administration department, in its resolution released last week, published a new set of rules to be followed from 1 January 2021 for the supply of canteen refreshments on credit. Other than the policy to extend credit for just one week, after which the canteen will decline the supply of tea, coffee, biscuits and other refreshments on credit, the department has also pinned accountability for the repayment.

“The department concerned will have the right to decide the official at whose level the credit request will be registered with the Mantralaya canteen, or the way in which it is registered. However, it will be the responsibility of the joint secretary or the deputy secretary of the department to ensure that the bills are cleared within a week,” the resolution said.

Also read: Maharashtra Mantralaya makeover: A project that just doesn’t end


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular