Shimla: The telephone bills of the state officials are proving a major burden Himachal Pradesh public exchequer. A whopping amount to the tune of Rs 1 crore per annum is used to settle the telephone bills of state officials.

The state government is spending Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 for two months on the telephone bills of officials comprising private secretaries and secretaries. Though landline phone bill is Rs 500-600 a month, the budget approved by the state government for the officials is far higher.

Sources said the private secretaries of the IAS officials have access of getting Rs 1,500 as the telephone bill for two months, while Rs 3000 per month is being provided for the secretary level officials.

The government has fixed a certain amount of telephone bills for officials, but it has to incur additional spending on it. The mobile phone bill is also deteriorating the financial condition of the government.

Principal Secretary (Finance) Srikant Baldi said, “The state government has fixed the amount for telephone bill of officials. There is no provision for making payment on the basis of bill.”

JPN/Bureau