The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has become a tool for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to nail the accused in the multi-crore scandal in Uttar Pradesh.
Facing flak in the wake of the murders of two chief medical officers (CMO) — VK Arya in 2010 and BP Singh in 2011 — and the mysterious death of deputy CMO YS Sachan in Lucknow jail in 2011, former chief minister Mayawati had sought a special audit by the CAG.
However, the CAG report slammed Mayawati and her cabinet for violating the implementation framework of the scheme. The report also said health department functionaries, middlemen and contractors guzzled around R5,000 crore of the R8,657 crore given to the state between 2005 and 2011 under the NRHM.
The report, initially meant to dispel the rising pressure on the issue, has now turned into a “deadly weapon” against officials involved in swindling of central (NRHM) funds, said a senior officer who had worked briefly for the mission. “It has become the starting point for the CBI.”
The CAG has also provided vital technical information to the CBI, which would have, otherwise, struggled to get it. Once the previous government realised that the audit could be a potential source of trouble, they made it harder for the CAG team to get information and documents from NRHM directorates and other agencies, said the officer.
Severely indicting the former BSP government, the report said the government did not appear to be sensitive to error signals emanating from various sources, such as reports of statutory auditors, CAs and concurrent auditors.