IAS officers politicking, will complain to PM: Parrikar

Panaji, May 21 (IANS) The Goa government will complain to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about some Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers indulging in “politics”, said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Tuesday while accusing a central officer of trying to intimidate state bureaucracy.

He was reacting to a question by the media persons whether the state government has responded to an officer of the union ministry for road, transport and highways who in a letter last week termed Goa’s imposition of “entry fee” on other states’ vehicles as illegal and demanded its withdrawal.

“I will write to the prime minister questioning the propriety of the officer. Since when have IAS officers started politicking?” Parrikar said, after the ministry’s Deputy Secretary Nandan Singh wrote to a senior bureaucrat in Goa last week, seeking withdrawal of the entry fee.

“Is he (Nandan Singh) contesting the next Lok Sabha election?” Parrikar said, adding that the official was ranked fourth in the central ministry’s order of heirarchy and had no right to issue the communique.

Last month, the cash-strapped state government imposed an entry fee to the tune of Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 for light and heavy commercial vehicles entering Goa. The Goa government expects to net Rs.60 crore annually from the new toll booths which have been installed by the transport department on all entry points of the state.

The All India Motor Congress (AIMC) had complained to the central ministry that the fee imposed by the Goa government was illegal.

Parrikar, however, insisted otherwise.

“The fee is charged for the use of state government’s bridges, roads, etc. If anyone is passing through Goa, using the National Highways, within four hours, they will not be charged any tax,” he said.

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