CAG pulls up Uttarakhand govt for non-submission of utilisation certificates
CAG said absence of utilisation certificates made it doubtful if the grants were utilised for their intended purposedehradun Updated: Mar 27, 2018 22:30 IST
The Complotter and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled various government departments in Uttarakhand for delaying submission of utilisation certificates, saying their absence made it doubtful if the grants were utilised for their intended purpose.
The CAG, in its report on state’s finances for 2016-17, laid in the Gairsain Vidhan Sabha on Monday, said an excess expenditure of Rs 15,324 crore over the last 10 years — between financial years 2005-06 and 2015 – 16 — was still awaiting a proper regularisation by the Uttarakhand assembly.
Citing a number of irregularities in the financial management of the state during the period, the CAG report said a total of 353 utilisation certificates (UCs) amounting to Rs 490.04 crore were pending till March 2017.
“Of these, 211 UCs involving Rs 303.25 crore were pending for a period up to two years and 142 UCs involving Rs 186.79 crore were pending for more than two years. However, due date of 129 utilisation certificates amounting to Rs 162.69 crore falls between April 2017 and March 2018,” the report read.
“Thus the departmental officers did not submit 224 UCs due for submission by March 2017 in respect of which grants amounting to Rs 327.35 crore were given up to March 2016 for specific purposes,” the CAG report said.
“In the absence of UCs, it could not be ascertained whether the recipients had utilised the grants for the intended purpose for which these were sanctioned,” it said.
The report also mentioned that there was an excess expenditure of Rs 5,457 crore under three heads —agriculture work and research, food, and horticulture development.
Citing other instances of fiscal indiscipline, it said the department heads were not submitting to accountant general (audit) Uttarakhand statements of autonomous institutions and other entities to which loans worth Rs 10 lakh or more had been extended.
In the absence of such statements, institutions which attract an audit by the CAG could not be identified properly, it said.
Significant amounts of expenditure and receipts are booked under the Minor Heads ‘800-Other Expenditure’ and ‘800-Other Receipts’ instead of distinct heads of account, the CAG report said, adding it “adversely affected transparency in financial reporting”.
While giving an insight into the finances of the state government, the CAG mentioned that Uttarakhand recorded a revenue surplus in 2012-13 and 2013-14. However, in the next financial year, 2014-15, the state failed to maintain revenue surplus. “2014-15 experienced revenue deficit of Rs 917 crore, which further slipped to Rs 1,852 crore in 2015-16,” the report read.
The Congress was ruling the state during those years. Then finance minister and now Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Indira Hridayesh, said she could not go through the report. “Our government made every effort to maintain a decent financial health. It would not be appropriate for me to comment without going through the report,” she said.
The CAG report, meanwhile, advised the state government to ensure timely submission of utilisation certificates and statement of accounts by all autonomous bodies and other entities that receive grants or loans to maintain accountability.
“The government may ensure transparency in financial reporting by separately depicting the receipts and expenditure of major schemes rather than including them under the Minor Heads ‘800-Other Expenditure’ and ‘800-Other Receipts’ across various major heads,” it said.
WITH PTI INPUTS
First Published: Mar 27, 2018 22:29 IST