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No paperwork to back huge SAI spending

The Sports Authority of India, Gandhinagar, did an internal audit for the year 2007-08 and 2008-09 and the report — a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times — has highlighted some grave discrepancies, the most serious being irregularities to the tune of Rs 50 lakh. Sahil Sharma examines....

india Updated: May 23, 2009 01:33 IST
Sahil Sharma

The Sports Authority of India, Gandhinagar, did an internal audit for the year 2007-08 and 2008-09 and the report — a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times — has highlighted some grave discrepancies, the most serious being irregularities to the tune of Rs 50 lakh.

Although the ED (Finance) Jhanja Tripathi, ordered the inquiry and the report was submitted on January 23, she refused to comment on the issue. Another senior SAI official said on condition of anonymity that, “The report is credible. We have asked the Gandhinagar officials to give us an explanation… we are expecting a reply soon.

The report says that the Gandhinagar centre had purchased sports goods like pole vault mats, high jump mats and hurdles worth Rs 40 lakh during the above mentioned period without following prescribed norms.

The report also states that the senior accountant provided incorrect fund position, in violation of the ED’s instructions.

In January 2008, the office purchased javelins worth Rs. 1.5 lakh for 80m and 90m range, weighing 600 and 800gms respectively. But the report says they were never used, as Indian athletes cannot throw them in the 80-90m range.

Besides, another 109 javelins are lying unused.

Another Rs 1.75 lakh was spent on purchase of consumable sports equipments under the “Special Olympic Bharat” scheme without the approval of the finance head.

Non-consumable items worth Rs. 3.8 lakh were also purchased for national netball camps, following approval by the Director (Teams).

However, the audit pointed out that the Teams wing head had no authority to sanction the purchase.

Despite instructions from ED (Finance) that two registers be maintained, the centre has only one for both consumable and non-consumable items. Moreover, a large number of sports kit are rotting in the store. The purchase of computers, amounting to Rs 2 lakh, too was not approved by the headquarters.