The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Diversion of scheme funds by the government through deposit accounts: West Bengal Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation raised Rs 4,540.55 crore during 1999-2001 through bonds/bank loans for the purpose of infrastructure development of the state but spent only Rs 291.54 crore while the remaining funds were kept in the deposit account raising serious doubts about the purpose of raising these funds. Six government companies and statutory corporations parked Rs 281.47 crore, meant for implementation of various development sche-mes, in their deposit accounts with the government.

(a) Mention was made in the audit report for the year ended March 2000 about raising of funds aggregating Rs 1,567.93 crore by the WBIDFC with the pay and accounts officer, Calcutta for utilization by the state government for other purposes. During 1999-2000, an aggregate of Rs 1,215 crore was taken by the state government from WBIDFC as loan.

Scrutiny (September 2001) revealed that Rs 582.31 crore remained in the deposit account of WBIDFC as on March 31, 2000, awaiting conversion to loans. In addition, during 2000-2001, WBIDFC raised Rs 2,972.62 crore through bonds (Rs 1,689.85 crore), loans from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Rs 590.77 crore) and from commercial banks at interest rates varying from 11.75 to 14 per cent per annum for infrastructure development of the state. Out of Rs 2,972.62 crore, Rs 2,549.07 crore was parked in the deposit account with PAO, Calcutta. The state government converted Rs 2,508.89 crore into loans repayable in 92 equal monthly installments with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. Thus, the total loans received by the government from WBIDFC amounted to Rs 3,723.89 crore, of which the government repaid the principal amount of Rs 183.59 crore and paid interest of Rs 485.76 crore during 1999-2001.

Further, out of Rs 4,540.55 crore raised by WBIDFC during 1999-2001 through bonds and loans for infrastructure development, only Rs 291.54 crore (6.4 per cent) had been utlized for the specified purpose and the remaining fund was parked in deposit account. Thus, actual use of the funds did not match the stated purpose of raising these loans. The state government used WBIDFC as a vehicle of borrowing to improve the ways and means position of the government.

(b) Mention was made in...the report of the CAG of India for the year ended March 2000 about parking of funds aggregating Rs 1,304.72 crore as on March 31, 2000, in the deposit accounts of 36 government companies and 2 statutory corporations. Further, test check revealed that during 2000-2001, various departments of the state government drew Rs 479.79 crore for the ostensible purpose of loans and advances to 4 government companies and 2 statutory corporations but deposited the amount in the deposit accounts of these institutions. Out of the total fund of Rs 673.82 crore available in the deposit accounts of these companies/corporations, Rs 392.35 crore was withdrawn and the remaining amount of Rs 281.47 crore was lying unutilized...

Out of Rs 392.35 crore withdrawn from deposit accounts, Rs 248.57 crore was utlized for specified purposes and the balance of Rs 143.78 crore was parked in short term deposits with commercial banks. Thus, the funds meant for utilization by the companies/corporations for implementation of development schemes were routed back to the public account to meet the revenue deficit of the state government.

The matter was referred to the government in December 2001; no reply had been received till January 2002.

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