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State crores don’t add up: CAG

Ranchi, Dec. 3: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report for 2011-12 tabled in the Assembly today has given the Arjun Munda government a headache worth Rs 1,735.01 crore.

India’s apex auditing body said Jharkhand showed a mismatch of Rs 1,735.01 crore between what the Centre gave and what the state showed it released in the 2011-12 fiscal.

The four-volume CAG report also pointed out a shortfall of Rs 50.86 crore in instances where the state released funds for partnership projects.

While it is premature to fling accusations of corruption, it is evident that the Arjun Munda government isn’t keeping its account books in order.

The fact that Jharkhand’s fiscal management — especially record keeping — was woefully lacking was evident throughout the CAG report.

The state couldn’t disclose updated statements of fiscal accounts in almost all segments.

To begin with, contrary to provisions of Jharkhand Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (2007), the state is yet to work out a yearly pension liability on realistic basis for the next 10 years.

Details regarding revenue from arrears — in both tax and non-tax categories — were not appended with the receipt budget. There was no “authentic” record of tax concessions and exemptions for 2011-12.

The finance accounts for the year 2011-12 does not contain complete information of loans and advances. The detailed information of overdue principal and interests in respect of loans and advances, maintained by the state government, is awaited. The full information of debts and financial assets, disclosures regarding payables and receivables were also missing.

Jharkhand’s fiscal correction path ironically revealed that by March-end, 2012, Rs 500 crore had not been recovered in projects where the state government played the part of a guarantor, the report added.

The state failed to transfer Rs 68.53 crore to Jharkhand State Advocates’ Welfare Fund Trustee Committee by last fiscal end. Contrary to norms, the money is lying in the state’s personal deposit account.

Equally worrying, loopholes of 2010-11 haven’t been plugged. The CAG is waiting for as many as 1,424 utilisation certificates for sums disbursed in 2010-11, the quantum of which is Rs 2.450.33 crore.

Top law enforcers were equally lax when it came to keeping accounts of public money, dawdling in submitting utilisation certificates of allocated secret service funds (see box).

The rulebook says that audit of costs incurred from secret service funds is to be done by the controlling officer the state nominates. The certificate is to be given to the accountant general no later than August 31 of next year. But pending utilisation certificates of secret service funds for years make a mockery of norms.

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