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Eye on 2019 general election, Uttarakhand CM okays audit for govt departments

dehradun Updated: Nov 02, 2017 20:10 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,special audits,UPRNNL

The order was issued after complaints were received against some departments, says cabinet minister Madan Kaushik. (HT File)

Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNNL), State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd (Sidcul) and state cooperative bank are among some half-a-dozen departments that will face special audits in the state.

In what is being seen as a move to boost the BJP’s clean image, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has asserted that an order for special audit of the departments was issued in keeping with his government’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption.

“Audit report is likely to be submitted to us in the next two-three months. Action will certainly be taken on the basis of the report.”

The move came just weeks after Rawat issued marching orders to Kumaon regional food controller VS Dhanik in connection with the Rs 600 rice scam.

Incidentally, the civil supplies department is among the departments which will face special audit, a source said. Other departments include Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNNL), State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd (Sidcul), Technical University and state cooperative bank.

Cabinet minister Madan Kaushik confirmed that the order was issued. “The order was issued after complaints were received against those departments,” he said, confirming that UPRNNL is one of the departments to face audit.

“The order for a special audit of construction works carried out by UPRNNL was issued after the government received complaints,” Kaushik said, denying the reports that such steps were initiated with an eye on the local body polls and the Lok Sabha election.

“The anti-graft measures we have been taking are in line with the CM’s stated policy of zero tolerance to corruption. As it is, the general election is more than a year away.”

The government was duty bound to initiate action on all kinds of complaints, including those related to corruption, he asserted.

The old constructions carried out by UPRNNL would be audited as the venture was banned in Uttarakhand. “A decision to ban UPRNNL was taken after we got complaints relating to construction works it carried out,” parliamentary affairs minister Prakash Pant had said.

Political observers took a different take on the issue. “I have no doubt that the anti-corruption measures being taken by this government will benefit the BJP in all elections,” Prof MM Semwal of HNB Garhwal (Central) University said. But, he said, the government has to be consistent in initiating anti-graft measures.

“It introduced the law but its effective implementation in terms of providing timely services to people is yet to be carried out,” Semwal said, citing the example of the Right to Services Act.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 20:10 IST