Lack of objective planning on part of the Chandigarh estate office to utilise funds has come to the fore as it had to surrender Rs 2.96 crore out of total budget of Rs 3 crore received under the plan head.
The audit department has ticked off the estate office for its inability to prepare correct budget estimates. During the scrutiny of records, vide variation in budget received and money spent was observed.
As per records, the estate office received Rs 3 crore under the plan head, of which Rs 2.5 crore was for digitisation of records, Rs 12.5 lakh for purchase of Godrej optimiser, Rs 12.5 lakh for computerisation of estate office, Rs 25 lakh for making expenditure on wages of one system administrator and four data entry operators for their services towards maintaining computer system installed in estate office.
However, the estate office could only utilise a meagre sum of Rs 4.05 lakh for miscellaneous expenditure. The balance fund of Rs 2.96 crore was surrendered to government accordingly in September 2013 and February 2014.
As per practice, all government de partments submit their budget requirements to the finance department for its approval to enable them to meet the expenditure to be incurred during the financial year.
The audit report also observed that unnecessary demand of budget by a particular government department can lead to blockade of funds, which may cause issue of fewer grants to other needful departments.
Thus, a proper case needs to be given while framing the budget requirement by all government departments, so that budget allotment is made as per actual requirements by the finance department for each financial year.
Rapping the estate office, the audit report maintained that meagre utilisation showed that budget estimate was not done properly. The estate office was directed to make efforts to follow the guidelines while framing budget estimates in the future and same would be watched in the audit.
The audit report also pointed out pending realisation in respect of dishonoured cheques to tune of Rs 3.43 crore. It pointed out that cheques were received from four industrialists on the account of conversion charges, but were returned by the banks due to insufficient balance in their accounts.