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Audit delay rap on 5 DCs

Ranchi, Aug. 7: The office of the state’s development commissioner has issued showcause notices to deputy commissioners of five Maoist-infested districts for not submitting audit and utilisation reports of central funds meant to bridge development gaps in rebel-hit districts.

Khunti, Garhwa, Giridih, Simdega and East Singhbhum are under the scanner for not submitting the reports concerning the last two fiscals to ensure continuity in receiving Central funds under Integrated Action Plan (IAP), also known as additional central assistance (ACA), for left wing extremism (LWE)-affected districts.

“Explanation has been sought from the deputy commissioners concerned as to why they have not submitted audit report of 2012-13 financial year and utilisation report of funds given in 2013-14 fiscal,” development commissioner and additional chief secretary Sudhir Prasad told The Telegraph.

The five districts, along with the 12 others that receive the special assistance, were supposed to send audit and utilisation reports by June. But only the 12 complied.

“The Centre is about to release the first instalment of Rs 20 crore to each district under ACA. But due to the delay by the five districts, the process is getting held up for the state,” explained the senior IAS officer.

In the 2013-14 fiscal, the state got only Rs 170 crore (Rs 10 crore for each district as the first tranche) out of Rs 510 crore, the total earmarked under the assistance programme. This was because the districts were unable to use the first instalment within the tine-frame.

Sources in the development commissioner’s office said in each district, a committee headed by the DC, decides on projects that are to be undertaken with the funds. Among those who are members are local SPs and divisional forest officers. The onus of sending the proposals, using funds, and preparing audit and utilisation reports lies with the committee.

Normally, under additional central assistance, each of the 17 rebel-hit districts is entitled to get Rs 30 crore in a financial year.