CAG finds irregularities worth Rs 489 crore in Madhya Pradesh
The CAG reports are examined by the Public Accounts Committee of the assembly, which is normally headed by an opposition legislator. If that happens, PAC will be headed by a lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which was in power during the period of CAG’s examination of the state finances.Updated: Jan 11, 2019 07:23 IST
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Thursday pointed out irregularities worth Rs 376 crore in the water resources department and worth Rs 113 crore in the tribal affairs department, apart from inadequacies in functioning of other departments.
The reports, cover functioning of the state government between 2012 and March 31, 2017, were tabled in the state assembly on Thursday. The CAG reports are examined by the Public Accounts Committee of the assembly, which is normally headed by an opposition legislator. If that happens, PAC will be headed by a lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which was in power during the period of CAG’s examination of the state finances. In the Water Resources Department’s Pench diversion project for creating irrigation potential, the CAG said there were ‘irregular payments of Rs 263.38 crore, avoidable extra cost of Rs 46.43 crore on works and undue advantage of Rs 113.97 crore to contractors’. Detailing irregularities, the report said, “departmental officers violated provisions of the MPWD (Madhya Pradesh Works Department) manual. Technical sanction was granted without detailed surveys and investigation, which led to inflated estimation of the project. The payments were made to turnkey contractors without recording detailed measurement. Prescribed records for internal control and monitoring of works were not maintained.”
“The provision of agreement was also unauthorisedly revised in favour of contractors. Instances of non-adherence to agreement clauses and provisions of schedule of rates were also not noticed,” the report alleged.
Despite all these irregularities, the report said the irrigation potential of only 30,000 hectare could be created under the project against the envisaged potential of 85,000 hectare. “Despite this time extensions were granted to contractors without imposing penalties of Rs 41.35 crore.” As per the report, construction of Pench diversion project which was taken up in 1987-88 and had several extensions was still behind schedule. Total cost of the project was Rs 1735 crore in 2013, which the CAG said, had increased because of delays.
On construction of the Omkareshwar Sagar (canal) project, the report said, the envisaged irrigation potential of 1.47 lakh hectare by March 2017 could not be created due to slow progress in canal works in the years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
On other irrigation projects of department including Water Resources, PWD and Narmada Valley Development Authority the report said there were 242 incomplete projects valued at Rs 9557.16 crore with cost overrun of Rs 4800.14 crore. The CAG also pointed out financial irregularities in the functioning of tribals affairs department saying the “Commissioner Tribal Development department furnished fictitious utilisation certificates of Rs113.84 crore in respect of grants-in-aid received from government of India during 2012-13 to 2016-17.”
During this period, the report said, state government incurred Rs 2686.12 crore on functioning of residential schools and hostels for scheduled tribes but the infrastructure created was “deficient”. Minister for medical education Vijayalaxmi Sadho said, “If CAG reports have pointed out irregularities these need to be inquired into.” State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “CAG report doesn’t necessarily mean corruption...”
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 23:55 IST