The Local Audit, Haryana, has found large-scale financial irregularities in the functioning of the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) in its latest audit report for 2014-15.
Against an income target of ` 12.10 crore on account of various taxes, licence fee, rent, advertisements, only Rs 5.56 crore could be earned, a shortfall of around 46%, reveals the audit report.
The accounts were audited under deputy director Hardeep Batra and pertained to the period when SS Phulia and SP Arora were commissioners of the Panchkula MC.
LOSS OF REVENUE
The record related to electricity charges at 5 paisa per unit (share of MC) has not been maintained since long. “Non-maintenance of record is a serious matter and also can cause a loss to the MC,” says the audit report. The security, installation fee and licence fee worth Rs 80,000 per annum per cellular tower was either not charged or not fully realised and no record had been maintained to ascertain the accuracy which causes recurring heavy revenue losses every year. Similarly, the fee for the installation of dish antennas — Rs 8,750 per annum from a service provider — were not realised and no record was maintained, added the audit report.
The report pointed out loss of lakhs as a number of milk booth sites for selling Vita milk and other milk products were being rented out to various vendors by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) where as the rent should have been deposited with the MC. The audit report states that no income on account of slaughterhouse in the Kalka zone was realised. Also, licences under the provisions of various bylaws were not enforced.
EXCESS, IRREGULAR PAYMENTS
The audit says that Rs 1.38 crore were spent without the sanction of the government during 2014-15 on 198 park development societies. Earlier, Rs 1 per square metre was given for the development of parks but later the rate was enhanced to Rs 3 per square metre.
Also, the MC has been drawing salaries of four building inspectors, two safai ‘darogas’, two tractor drivers, eight firemen and two fire drivers without the government’s sanction, reveals the audit report.
The audit says no compliance has been made to complete the assessment registers for house tax to date despite objections raised in previous audit reports. “The MC is maintaining only computer is ed format of assessment/demand and collection registers instead of manual due to which correctness of accounts as well as horizontal and vertical totals cannot be verified. The accuracy of the computerised registers cannot be proved because month-wise collection is not shown in the registers. Thus short realisation, if any, of the income could lead to embezzlement,” reads the audit report.