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CAG finger at draw on central funds

The comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India, in its report tabled in the state legislature on Friday, said the government is heavily dependent on the Centre’s financial help.

The state government, the report said, raised 29 per cent of the total revenue receipts in 2012-13 against 26 per cent in the preceding year (2011-12). The remaining 71 per cent of receipts during 2012-13 was from the Union government.

“Total receipts of the government of Bihar for the year 2012-13 were Rs 59,566.66 crore. The revenue raised by the state government amounted to Rs 17,388.35 crore, comprising tax revenue of Rs 16,253.08 crore and non-tax revenue of Rs 1,135.27 crore. The receipts from the government of India were Rs 42,178.31 crore. Thus, the state government’s own contribution to tax revenue was only 29 per cent of total revenue,” the report said.

According to the report, of the receipts from the central government, Rs 31,900.39 crore was the state’s share of divisible union taxes and Rs 10,277.92 crore was grants in aid.

The auditor general, Bihar, conducted a test-check of the records of commercial taxes, state excise, taxes on vehicles, land revenue, non-ferrous mining and metallurgical industries and other departmental offices during 2012-13. Under-assessment/short levy of revenue Rs 1066.92 crore was observed in 2,673 cases, it said.

The CAG’s report on state finances for the year ending March 2013, also presented on Friday in the Assembly, was critical of the state’s deficient financial management and lack of effective control over expenditure.

Of the total expenditures under 21 major heads amounting Rs 7,396.10 crore, 59.77 per cent (Rs 4,421.04 crore) was spent in March 2013.

“A substantial amount incurred by the department at the fag end of the year indicates deficient financial management and lack of effective control over expenditure by the controlling officers and a tendency to utilise the budget only at the fag end of the financial year,” it said.

Expenditures amounting to Rs 53,332.91 crore (exceeding Rs 10 crore in each case) under 78 major heads was also not reconciled during 2012-13.

On the front of revenue collection, the CAG report said revenue receipts increased by 16.07 per cent (Rs 8,246.49 crore).

The increase was mainly because of hike in the state’s own tax revenue by 28.87 per cent (Rs 3,640.98 crore) and share of Union taxes and duties by 14.19 per cent (Rs 3,965.16 crore).

As many as 298 schemes and projects, with an estimated cost Rs 3,829.75 crore, were due for completion up to March 2013 but remained incomplete resulting in the blocking of Rs 1,487.57 crore. The quantum of loans advanced also increased from Rs 1,906.08 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 2,085.95 crore in 2012-13.

The government of India directly transferred Rs 8,314.38 crore in 2012-13 to the state’s implementing agencies.

The report observed that these funds were not routed through the state budget/state treasury system, thereby not finding mention in the finance accounts.