The occasion was administering oath to the newly-elected office-bearers of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). But West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar chose it to flag the ‘rampant corruption’ in the accounting process of GTA and also insisted on regular audits to curb this corruption.
Dhankhar said that henceforth he will keep a close watch on the financial activities of GTA and also cautioned that those responsible for the corruption through evasion of audit will attract strict action.
“Please do not cross the limits of your authority and the limit of my patience,” the Governor said at the oath-taking ceremony of GTA’s new chairman, chief executive officer and assistant chief executive officers in Darjeeling on Thursday.
According to Dhankhar, the newly-elected GTA board’s primary focus should be development of the region.
“For the last three years, there have been major lapses in the development process, such as lack of adequate drinking water and pathetic condition of roads.
“All these happened because of rampant corruption, financial embezzlement and absence of regular audits. You have to ensure now that this is not repeated,” the Governor said.
According to Dhankhar, ever since the inception of GTA, no audit of its expenditures has been conducted.
“Every year there should be mandatory audits. I want a clear audit of the crores of rupees embezzled so far. I also want the offenders to be booked and punished. You will get all my support as the Governor,” Dhankhar said.
He also slammed the state government for maintaining silence on this issue of corruption.
“I have myself received several complaints about rampant corruption in GTA. But the administration remained silent. This will not be tolerated anymore. Do not take my words lightly,” the Governor said.