The Punjab police have come under the scanner of the Comptroller and Auditor of India (CAG) for importing firearms valued at `2.17 crore that were of no use in the absence of compatible ammunition.
“The weapons could not be put to use even after more than three years for want of compatible ammunition. This resulted in the idle expenditure of `59 lakh due to the non synchronisation of procurement of arms and related ammunition,” stated the CAG report in reference to one of such consignments worth `59 lakh imported from Israel and Switzerland.
In another shady consignment imported in May 2010, 234 magnifying reflex sights (MRS) to be fitted on the assault rifles were procured at a cost of `1.48 crore from a US-based firm.
These machines remained unusable as these could not be fitted on the assault rifles in absence of ‘PR adaptors’, the gadget meant for the attachment. “Due to the laxity on the part of the police department to ensure availability of PR adaptors to mount MRS on the assault rifles, 234 MRS procured in November 2010 for `1.48 crore could not be put to use and remained idle,” the CAG report states.
When contacted, ADGP (provisioning) Dinkar Gupta said these purchases pertained to the period before he held the charge of provisioning. “I am not aware of these specific consignments.” However, the CAG report carries the version of the then ADGP (provisioning) as saying that the ministry of home affairs had been repeatedly requested to allow the import of PR adaptors.
Excess payment of `3.34 crore as ‘central sales tax’
In another case of gross financial irregularity detected during the audit of the records at the Punjab DGP office, private dealers of other states were made an extra payment of `3.35 crore in the form of “central sales tax” for deals conducted over the past four years.
“The audit of records in the DGP office showed that arms and ammunition valued at `24.39 crore were purchased from the dealers of other states during 2011-14, the central sales tax of `3.84 crore at rates ranging between 12.5% and 21% was paid to the suppliers as against `49 lakh payable at the prescribed 2% rate. This resulted in avoidable extra payment of the central sales tax of `3.35 crore,” stated the CAG report. Then there was another consignment of 50,000 outdated cartridges procured in December 2011 from a factory in Kanpur. These cartridges were manufactured in 2001 with a shelf life of seven years.