The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped Punjab government for not clearing bills worth Rs 1,518.83 crore to its own state food grain procurement agencies under the 'Atta Dal' scheme, aimed at benefiting 15.41 lakh poor families.
In a latest report by CAG on public sector undertakings, it found subsidy claim of Rs 1,518.83 crore of state procurement agencies, including PUNSUP, PAFCL and PSWC, were left unpaid by the Punjab government for procurement of wheat and pulses under 'Atta Dal' scheme (ADS).
SAD-BJP led Punjab government had introduced its 'ambitious' scheme in March 2007, aimed at providing food grains at subsidised rates to poor families with annual income of less than Rs 30,000.
CAG also observed in its report that because of the non-release of funds to PUNSUP, pulses were not procured and distributed during 13 months out of 30 months among beneficiaries, thus defeating the purpose of ADS.
"To meet the shortfall of finances from the state, the procuring agencies diverted Rs 1,063.27 crore from cash credit limit for the purchase of food grains for the central pool.
Thus, the procuring agencies became bank defaulters due to non-release of differential cost by state," report said.
Finding deficiencies in implementing subsidised food grain scheme for poor families, the government auditor found diversion of wheat, meant for centrally sponsored schemes, towards 'Atta Dal' scheme.
PUNSUP diverted about 6.36 lakh metric tonne of wheat valuing Rs 613.54 crore towards 'Atta Dal' scheme, thus violating the Public Distribution System (Control) order 2001, which bars states from diverting food grain allocations under TDPS.