CAG report: Gap in Bihar govt books swells to ₹80K cr in 10 years

CAG report: Hole in Bihar govt books swells to ₹80K cr in 10 years

Since 2010-11, the Bihar authorities has not submitted utilisation certificates (UCs) for almost 80,000 crore of funds regardless of finance division’s 1975 govt order prescribing a deadline of 1 12 months from the date of sanction of fund for submission of UCs, which was prolonged to 18 months by a 2011 govt order, says the report of the Comptroller and Auditor Basic (CAG) for the monetary 12 months ending March 31, 2020, which was tabled within the state Meeting in December final 12 months.

Of the full excellent UCs, departments of panchayati raj, schooling, social welfare and rural growth division account for 67.12%. That is so when information relating to the variety of pending UCs/ misreporting, retaining funds in fastened deposit accounts or some other kind of account with lesser returns couldn’t be ascertained resulting from non-availability, says the report.

“Although such situations of non-submission of UCs function within the CAG reviews recurrently, there was no enchancment, whereas in lots of instances the identical recipients proceed to get additional grants from the identical departments regardless of pending UCs. Excessive pendency of UCs is fraught with the chance of misappropriation of funds,” says the report.

An audit officer mentioned that the truth that UCs remaining pending for thus lengthy means there are not any probabilities of their submission, until payments are fudged. “Of the full excellent UCs, 7,516 crore (9.43%) are for the 2010-11 to 2013-14 interval, whereas the remainder over 90% excellent UCs are for the interval since 2014-15, which covers virtually the earlier time period of the federal government. There isn’t any means previous claims will be verified,” he mentioned, citing the report.

Finance division principal secretary S Siddharth mentioned the federal government was reviewing the matter on a month-to-month foundation to cut back backlog and had succeeded to an excellent extent. “It’s a matter of interpretation. Think about the state annual finances is of over 2 lakh crore rupees. It means the spending within the final 10 years on a mean might have touched at the very least 15 lakh crore. It means the non-submission of UCs account for under 5.53%. And it’s an ongoing course of. Yearly, some new entry is added and a few subtracted after submission. Apart from, the panchayati raj establishments and concrete native our bodies are the most important supply for delayed submission of UCs. We consistently work on it,” he mentioned.

State’s panchayati raj minister Samrat Choudhary mentioned the division was working to place in place a mechanism for normal monitoring of spending and auditing of funds spent. “The issue is there and that’s the reason I made a decision to create a brand new system as quickly as I assumed cost of the division barely 10 months in the past,” he mentioned.

Equally, the CAG report has identified how a complete of 20,642 summary contingent (AC) payments amounting to 9155.44 crore had not been adjusted until March 2019-20, whereas 1,383 AC payments amounting to 644.13 crore had been drawn in March 2020 alone.

Summary contingent (AC) payments are prices on gadgets of expenditure by a state authorities, for which ultimate classification and supporting vouchers is just not obtainable on the time of drawl.

“Substantial expenditure towards AC payments in March 2020 signifies that the drawls was primarily to exhaust the finances provisions and divulges insufficient budgetary management. The truth that 5,689 AC payments amounting to 4231.06 crore have been drawn below varied capital heads for creation of capital property point out lack of goal planning and poor public expenditure administration. The utmost pending AC payments ( 3390 crore) are below the top of reduction on account of pure calamities,” says the report.

The report says that Bihar Treasury Code, 2011, gives {that a} certificates shall be furnished by the drawing and disbursing officer (DDO) to the impact that the cash withdrawn on the contingent payments shall be spent throughout the similar monetary 12 months and the unspent quantity shall be remitted to the treasury earlier than March 31 of that 12 months. “The code additionally specifies that the detailed contingent (DC) payments shall be submitted inside six months and no summary invoice shall be cashed after that interval until the detailed invoice has been submitted,” says the report, highlighting how unadjusted quantity has been rising since 2016-17, when it was simply 2,375 crore.

The difficulty of AC-DC payments from 2003-04 to 2018-19 had snowballed into a serious controversy a couple of years in the past and had landed within the Patna Excessive Courtroom, which sought newest standing from the departments involved.

“The pendency was huge, however now it has been virtually managed and issues will additional enhance,” he mentioned.

The finance division has just lately additionally written to all of the division heads, commissioners, district magistrates, treasury and drawing & disbursing officers to make sure well timed submission of all contingency payments to keep away from the same old last-minute rush on the finish of the fiscal.

“It has been noticed that there’s often a rush of contingency payments on the finish of the fiscal, which causes undue stress on the software program system and results in problem of their disposal. To keep away from this, all payments as much as January 2022 should be submitted by February 28, 2022, and all February payments should be submitted by March 15, as intimated earlier. The March payments also needs to attain by March 22,” mentioned a letter from the principal secretary.

A decade of lapses

Piling backlog

Utilisation certificates (UCs) for almost 80,000 crore of funds not submitted since 2010-11. Present deadline for submission of UCs is eighteen months from the date of sanction of fund.

The laggards

Departments of panchayati raj, schooling, social welfare and rural growth account for 67.12% of the full backlog, in response to the CAG report tabled within the Meeting.



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