Panchkula MC's fiscal health in dire straits
In sheer fiscal mismanagement, the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) has collected a mere Rs 2.92 crore revenue against the target of Rs 42.53 crore, the annual audit report of the MC for 2012-13 has revealed. In reflection of the mess that the civic body is in, a massive 93.13% of the revenue couldn’t be realised.chandigarh Updated: Jan 03, 2015 14:07 IST
In sheer fiscal mismanagement, the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) has collected a mere Rs 2.92 crore revenue against the target of Rs 42.53 crore, the annual audit report of the MC for 2012-13 has revealed.
In reflection of the mess that the civic body is in, a massive 93.13% of the revenue couldn’t be realised.
Besides, the audit has found how maintenance of accounts was improper and various rules, regulations and acts were violated.
The report found shortage of establishment staff, resulting in fewer efforts to mobilise the routine work of the corporation effectively, the main cause of losses, a matter that needs special consideration of the government, it adds.
Besides, several Acts, already in force in Haryana, were never enforced in Panchkula MC area. Had that been done, MC would have been able to earn significant revenue, the report says.
Loss of revenue
The audit has pointed out that while a rent of Rs 25.33 crore was to be realised from MC shops, only Rs 33.28 lakh was recovered up to March 31, 2013. As per the instructions issued by the director, urban development, the rent of MC shops given on lease was to be charged by 7th of every month with a penalty of Rs 50 per day and interest @18% in case of delay for more than two months.
The audit report has recommended action against guilty officials.
As per Haryana Municipal (laying of communication cable and dish antenna) Bye Laws, 2007, a Rs 5,000 fee, a Rs 3,750 fee on account of installation/renewal of dish antenna and Rs 2,500 fee for ATM dish antenna is to be charged from a cable operator.
There is also a provision of charging Rs 20 per month per cable connection from consumers, but no such charges were realised.
Besides, no demand and collection register was maintained, which caused recurring loss of heavy revenue every year to the municipal fund.
The audit has also pointed out that no income on account of slaughter house in Kalka zone was realised during 2012-13, resulting in loss of revenue to MC.
The record relating to electricity charges or tax at 5 paise per unit had not been maintained since long by the MC as required under the MC Act. “Non-maintenance of the record is a serious matter and can cause loss to the corporation,” the report says.
“As per the instructions issued by the urban development department dated September 20, 2001, while issuing NOC to installation of cellular towers in MC area, security of Rs 50,000, installation fee of Rs 20,000 and licence fee of `10,000 per tower per annum was either not charged or not charged fully, and no record was maintained to ascertain the accuracy in this regard, which caused recurring loss every year to the municipal fund,” the report adds.
The audit pointed out that without government’s sanction, excess or irregular payments in respect to park development societies numbering 250 approximately were being paid maintenance charges to maintain the parks, which were enhanced from Rs 1 per square meter to Rs 1.50 per square meter and now Rs 3 per square meter.
A provisional payment of Rs 7.35 lakh made in the financial year 2004-05 on the request of the then president still remained unadjusted. “Efforts need to be made to make proper adjustment of the same,” the report says.
“MC is maintaining only the computerised 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. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the record manually and in prescribed format and necessary certificate needs to be given in the end of each month accounts,” the audit reportstates.
“During the pre-audit of various bills during the period under the report (2012-13), Rs 4.77 lakh were retrenched by the audit on account of wrong calculations and inadmissible claims. The same would have remained unearthed otherwise,” the report adds.