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Rap for AIDS funds misuse

Imphal, July 30: The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has rapped Manipur AIDS Control Society for financial mismanagement in the report for the year ended March 31, 2013.

“There were deficiencies in financial management including non-utilisation of funds, rush of expenditure at the fag end of the year and avoidable expenditure incurred on purchase of kits,” the report said.

It said overall detection of HIV positive cases in Manipur rose from 23,919 in March 2007 to 40,855 till March 2012, indicating the serious magnitude of the epidemic in the state.

“This was in spite of incurring an overall expenditure of Rs 105.63 crore during 2007-12, including Rs 43.39 crore for implementation of targeted intervention programme thereby reflecting poor performance and unsatisfactory results in halting new infections in high-risk groups,” the report said.

The report also pointed to the increasing trend of deaths due to AIDS, patients lost to follow-up treatment and those who had not returned to anti-retroviral therapy centres. It said this indicated low achievement of the objective of providing greater care, support and treatment (CST) to people living with HIV/AIDS in spite of an expenditure of Rs 12.22 crore.

The report noted there were 176 deaths during 2006-07. The figure rose to 1,263 in 2011-12. Quoting a National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) report, it said the number of positive cases was 40,855 as on March 31, 2012.

Manipur is one of the six high HIV-prevalent states in India with a maximum number of HIV positive transmission among injecting drug users.

On financial management, the report said during 2007-12, the percentage of funds utilised ranged from 57 to 78. The reasons for poor utilisation and unsatisfactory management of funds were not furnished, the report said.

It further said advances ranging from Rs 0.57 crore to 2.25 crore were released by the society during 2007-12 to various agencies exclusively during the month of March. In addition to this, there had been persistent irregularity of retention of heavy closing balance ranging from Rs 7.07 crore to Rs 14.81 crore during 2007-12.

The report recommended, among others, proper planning, budgetary and financial management and effective action to ensure testing of children born to HIV-positive mothers to ascertain their HIV status.

The report said 642 children were born to HIV-positive women during 2007-12. However, the number of children tested for HIV at 18 months was only 42, with the rest remaining untested. This reflected inattention to the programme, it said.

The report also called for necessary amendments without further delay in the interest of both HIV- affected people and the public.

There is an urgent need to identify the reasons for the gaps and shortcomings as well as the grey areas in the implementation of National AIDS Control Programme, the report said.


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