CAG audit flags gaps in government schemes
The audit reports were tabled by the government in the Delhi assembly on Tuesday.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in its audit of Delhi’s social, general and economic sectors in the financial years 2018-19 till 2019-20 -- the reports of which were tabled in the Delhi assembly on Tuesday -- has flagged that several of the Delhi government’s projects and schemes have either remained on paper or were only partially implemented.
The reports said the Delhi government lagged in its promise to provide piped water supply to all 1,797 unauthorised colonies by December 2018, while 1,573 unauthorised colonies (88%) were not provided with sewerage facilities as on March 2018. The government also fared poorly in meeting housing targets, and several policy initiatives remained not executed or only partially executed owing to a variety of reasons, it said.
WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE IN UNAUTHORISED COLONIES
In the absence of a strategic plan to provide piped water supply to all 1,797 unauthorised colonies, as promised by the Delhi government, only 353 colonies could be provided piped water supply between 2013 and 2018, the CAG said. It added that as on March 2018, 567 unauthorised colonies were still dependent on tubewells/handpumps and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) water tankers for their potable water requirements.
Also, 1,573 unauthorised colonies (88%) were not provided with sewerage facilities as on March 2018 and sewage generated by these colonies flowed into stormwater drains and eventually into the Yamuna, the report stated.
The objectives of the Central government scheme, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) remained unfulfilled even after 10 years after the scheme was launched of the scheme in 2005 and even one year after the scheme ended in 2014, the CAG said.
“This was mainly due to deficiency in planning and execution of the projects and poor progress in identification of beneficiaries… The Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) Limited and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) executed 14 housing projects with 52,344 dwelling units, but four of these 14 projects with 24,000 dwelling units remained incomplete... resulting in the expenditure of ₹ 755.26 crore,” it stated.
The CAG found that the government could identify only 5,483 beneficiaries, of whom only 1,864 were rehabilitated to the dwelling units till August 2018. “Thus, due to delay in identifying beneficiaries, more than 90% of the 28,344 dwelling units completed till June 2018 at a cost of ₹1,101.36 crore were lying unallotted, unoccupied and vulnerable to deterioration,” the CAG said.
The audit report for the year ending March 2019 flagged that the state labour department’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board did not conduct any survey for identification of construction workers for improving the number of registered workers.
“Construction workers are required to be registered with the Board for availing benefits of the welfare schemes. However, the Board did not conduct any survey for identification of construction workers in Delhi for improving the registration of workers. As of March 2019, only 17,339 (1.7%) of an estimated 10 lakh construction workers were registered with the Board, thereby depriving 98% of the workers of the benefits of welfare schemes,” it stated.
The CAG noted that several policy initiatives of the Delhi government were partially executed or not executed due to non-approval of scheme guidelines/modalities, non- commencement of works for want of administrative sanction, and non-release of budget, etcetera.
“This deprives the beneficiaries of intended benefits. Savings in such schemes deprives other departments of the funds which they could have utilised,” it said.
Schemes which did not take off due to non-utilisation of the entire provision were the Chief Minister Advocate Welfare Scheme ( ₹25 crore), DNA Test Lab- Nirbhaya Fund (CSS) ( ₹3.30 crore), Pre-metric scholarship scheme for minority students (CSS) ( ₹6.50 crore), Swacch Bharat Mission (CSS) ( ₹24 crore), and Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Corridor ( ₹47 crore).
The CAG also found that the Delhi government rushed expenditures in the last quarter of the financial year. “It was noticed that out of the total expenditure of ₹51,186.26 crore during 2019-20, expenditure of ₹16,207.83 crore (31.66%) was incurred in the last quarter whereas ₹2,355.21 crore (14.53%) of the last quarter was incurred during the month of March, 2020 in 30 subheads... Rush of expenditure during the last quarter, especially during the month of March, indicates non-adherence to financial rules,” the CAG said.
“The revenue surplus of NCT of Delhi in 2019-20 of ₹7,499 crore indicates that revenue receipts of the government were sufficient to meet the revenue expenditure. Revenue surplus stood at 0.88% of GSDP in 2019-20 as against 0.81% in 2018-19. NCT of Delhi has been able to maintain revenue surplus largely on account of pension liabilities of GNCTD employees being borne by GoI. In addition, expenditure of Delhi Police is also borne by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,” the CAG report stated.
DTC BIGGEST LOSS MAKER
The report said of the total loss of ₹5,294.16 crore, incurred by seven state public sector enterprises (SPSE), during 2019-20, ₹5,280.55 crore (99.74%) was contributed by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) alone.
“The losses incurred by DTC were mainly due to non-revision of fares since November 2009, increased AMC costs, and pay revision of DTC employees,” it stated.
Delhi government spokespersons did not comment on the findings of the CAG reports.