Bhubaneswar: In the wake of flak from several sections, key advisers appointed by the state government decided Sunday not to receive remuneration.
As many as 11 key players of ruling party, appointed as advisers to various government departments, were criticized as occupying “rehabilitation posts”. According to a government notification issued earlier, many of these appointees enjoyed the ranks of Ministers of State, Chief Secretary or principal secretaries.
In a joint statement, the advisers of various departments Sunday announced that they have decided to shun the pay and other benefits as they are the taxpayers’ money. A media release from the advisers said, “The BJD leaders appointed as advisers to various departments of the Odisha Government have written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informing him of their desire to work as advisers without taking any salary or honorarium. They thanked the Chief Minister for giving them the opportunity and pledged their total dedication and devotion in carrying out the responsibilities assigned to them.”
Those who were appointed as advisers by the government include: Manas Ranjan Mangaraj (Adviser to Government Media and Public Relations), Lopamudra Buxipatra (Adviser, Mission Shakti), Sudhir Das (Adviser, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana), Mujibulla Khan (Adviser, Minority Affairs, SC & ST Development) and Sujeet Kumar (Adviser, Special Development Council). There were around a dozen such persons who were appointed by the government that raised the eyebrows of many in the political circles.
The statement also added, “This decision and gesture of the advisers is truly remarkable and speaks volumes of the selfless leadership that the BJD party leaders possess; and their intent to serve Odisha and its people without taking any financial remuneration for it.”
When contacted, Sulata Deo, Adviser to State Women and Child Development Department said, “We have decided to not take remuneration from the government for our work. We will continue to render our services to the people. We will try to work as a bridge between the people and the government. We will also follow the 5T mandate of the Chief Minister.”