The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has unearthed large-scale irregularities in utilisation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds in Mirzapur, Jalaun, Badaun, Ballia and Unnao districts.
The accounting watchdog has also indicted chief medical officers (CMO) and district magistrates (DM) of these districts for violating norms in utilisation of the funds.
The audit comes on the back of the recent spate of murders of CMOs in the state over alleged misappropriation of NRHM funds. On the state government’s request, the CAG is auditing the NRHM accounts from 2005, when it was launched in the state, to March 31, 2011.
In the first phase, the CAG started the audit in these five districts on August 17.
“The DM is the convener of the District Health Mission and chairman of the District Health Society. Along with approving the district NRHM plan, the officer is supposed to review all NRHM programmes,” an officer said.
“Even as the CMO embezzled funds, the DM either remained a mute spectator or might have colluded,” said an auditor.
An officer in the CAG office said: “We have shot off letters to the DMs and CMOs of these five districts on the same. We are awaiting their replies.”
On November 16, 2006, the then chief secretary, Naveen Chandra Bajpai, had issued an order that said a meeting of the district health mission was to be held every three months to review the progress in the respective districts.
In a separate order on the same day, Bajpai announced the constitution of the District Health Society, to act as an NRHM watchdog under the chairmanship of the DMs.
In the second phase, the CAG plans to conduct audits in Gorakhpur, Bulandshahar, Etah, Kanpur Dehat, Jaunpur, Shahjahanpur and Rae Bareli districts. The CAG has divided UP into five zones and will audit NRHM funds in 24 districts, said a source.