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WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE'
- Document

Government placed funds pertaining to various schemes...at the disposal of the district magistrate and he was authorized to transfer such scheme amounts to his PL account. The schemes were implemented through the zilla parishad, panchayat samities, and so on as per the approval of the district planning committee...The DM also acted as a member of that committee. The funds for the implementation of the schemes were routed through the zilla parishad and the DM reported utilization of funds to the government as and when the utilization certificates were received from executive agencies. Thus, it appeared that implementation of the schemes fully rested with the zilla parishad and other agencies, while the DM acted as drawing and disbursing officer.

The DM and the subdivisional officer did not submit a statement of monthly expenditure to their controlling officers as per budget manuals. The budget estimate prepared by the DM was not realistic, as there was excess expenditure of Rs 35.23 lakh during 1996-97 and savings of Rs 1.23 crore during 1997-98.

Monthly reconciliation of balances held in PL cash book and treasury pass book was not done during the last five years. Retention of Rs 4.93 lakh to Rs 22.79 lakh as unclassified in the cash balance was irregular and misleading requiring an urgent probe. It was further noticed that retention of liquid cash on various dates ranged between Rs 11.34 lakh and Rs 2.23 crore during the period November 1996 to February 2001. From undisbursed cash balance, Rs 6.94 lakh was unauthorizedly advanced to officers and staff during August 1997 and March 2001, which remained unadjusted as of March 2001.

Year-wise funds drawn from treasury in advance through abstract contingent bills and detailed bills submitted there during the last five years ending February 2001, were as under: out of Rs 10.36 crore drawn in 121 AC bills during 1996-2001, detailed adjustment bills of Rs 3.12 crore in 64 bills were submitted leaving Rs 7.25 crore unadjusted. Delay in submission of detailed bills ranged between 17 days and 3 years 3 months beyond the stipulated period of 60 days. The balances lying in PL accounts at the close of the financial years were carried forward to the next financial years in violation of provision under SR 412 of WBTR Vo.1.I. No ledger account/ scheme register showing the scheme/government officer-wise fund transferred to PL account was maintained.

The DM is responsible for implementation and monitoring of a large number of Central and state schemes either directly or through his subordinate offices. A review of selected schemes indicated significant deficiency in their implementation as discussed below: Rupees 2.17 crore released by the DM during 1996-2001 under basic minimum services programme was lying unspent with executing agencies. Rupees 46.54 lakh meant for district plan schemes had been diverted for other works/purposes like installation of computer printer, renovation of circuit house, construction of the office of superintendent of police, carshed, installation and maintenance of EPABX system, and so on during March 1997 to December 1998.

Of Rs 9.72 crore sanctioned between February 1997 and February 2000 by the department of panchayat and rural development for infrastructure development of 169 gram panchayats and 19 panchayat samitis and so on, Rs 4.30 crore remained unutilized as of March 2001.

A Bengali typewriter and duplicating machine valuing Rs 27.68 lakh were purchased by the district panchayat officer for 169 gram panchayats in August 1999 and April 2000 which remained idle for want of trained persons rendering the expenditure unfruitful.

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