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CAG scanner on fund use

- Query raised over utilisation certificates

Bhubaneswar, July 1: The state government has failed to provide utilisation certificates for funds worth over Rs 6,588 crore received from the Centre between 2003-04 and 2012-13.

Even, the state government departments allocated funds through the state budgets, have not submitted utilisation certificates (UCs) involving expenditure to the tune of Rs 22,221.22 crore during the same period.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which in its latest report made this revelation, has indicated that the delay in the submission of UCs “could make departments prone to fraudulent expenditure, diversion of funds and creation of fake assets”.

The CAG report noted that till the end of December 2012, the UCs for central funds to the tune of Rs 6,588.24 crore were pending against as many as 30 departments of the state government.

This is mainly on account of non-adherence to the financial instructions.

As utilisation certificates have not been submitted, CAG is not being able “to provide assurance to the legislature and the government specifically on the issue of diversion and mis-utilisation (of funds)”.

The report stated that when the authorities were not in a position to submit utilisation certificates, they were required to furnish two other certificates stating that funds had not been diverted or mis-utlised.

In these cases, the authorities have failed to file even those certificates.

According to the report, the state government has also failed to keep a track of its own expenditure. Out of the total amount of Rs 43,204.13 crore drawn, certificates in respect of expenditure of Rs 22,221.22 crore remained outstanding.

The total amount involved in the outstanding Ucs, including both the state and central governments and other agencies, stood at Rs 68,689 crore.

The major defaulting departments were panchayati raj (Rs 7,050.92 crore), planning and co-ordination (Rs 3,220.75 corre), housing and urban development (Rs 2,190.92 corre), ST and SC minorities and backward class development (Rs 2,190.92 crore) and rural development (Rs 1,434.24 crore).

Government officials refused to comment on the issue. “According to the practice, the CAG report will be tabled in the Public Accounts Committee headed by the leader of Opposition. Later, it will be discussed and tabled in the Assembly. Until and unless it is discussed in the Assembly, we can’t comment on the report,” said a senior official.

A public interest litigation was today filed in Orissa High Court seeking direction for a CBI inquiry into the controversy over allowing industrial houses the liberty to mortgage state government land without making commensurate investments in the state.

The report said industrial houses had secured loans worth Rs 52,423.50 crore by mortgaging land leased out to them by the state government allegedly in gross violation of the rules. The PIL, filed by Rohan Kumar Mohanty, 37, president of the Odia Yuva Manch, sought the court’s direction for a CBI inquiry into the issue.


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