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Only 21% MLA local area development funds used in Rajasthan, finds CAG

A huge unspent fund of Rs1,093.11 crore (60.73% of the amount allotted for the five-year period) remained unused in the personal deposit accounts of the zila parishads at the end of March 2016, the report reveals. The CAG report on local bodies undertook a performance audit of the MLA LAD scheme in Bikaner, Hanumangarh, Banswara, Dungarpur and Rajsamand districts. 

jaipur Updated: Oct 24, 2017 21:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Comptroller and Auditor General,ocal area development funds
Rajasthan MLAs alighting a plane at Kishangarh airport near Ajmer on Tuesday. The MLAs travelled from Delhi to Kishangarh to prove its functionality for the local people. (PTI)

JAIPUR: Rajasthan saw a mere 21.05% utilisation of the MLA local area development funds from 2011 to 2016, says the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on local bodies that was tabled in the assembly on Tuesday.

A huge unspent fund of Rs1,093.11 crore (60.73% of the amount allotted for the five-year period) remained unused in the personal deposit accounts of the zila parishads at the end of March 2016, the report reveals.

The CAG report on local bodies undertook a performance audit of the MLA LAD scheme in Bikaner, Hanumangarh, Banswara, Dungarpur and Rajsamand districts.

In these five districts, the overall utilization of the total funds was only 23.72%, it says. Unspent balances of Rs122.06 crore — Rs26.05 crore (Banswara), Rs30.67 crore (Bikaner), Rs20.56 crore (Dungarpur), Rs 17.83 crore (Hanumangarh) and Rs26.95 crore (Rajsamand) — remained unutilised at the end of March 2016.

Every MLA is allocated funds of Rs2 crore per year for developmental works in his or her constituency and should make recommendation for utilisation of 20% funds for the areas inhabited by the SC/ST population.The CAG report says the 20% target could not be achieved in three districts of Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Rajsamand.

In zila parishads of Banswara, Bikaner and Rajsamand, the CAG report points to serious deficiencies in execution of works. The payments for ‘fictitious works’ amounting to Rs28.38 lakh were made for works not done or works done below prescribed specifications.

Weak revenue collection system in Municipal boards: CAG

The CAG report on local bodies points that there was a shortfall in collection of non-tax revenues during the 2013-16. There was no justification for fixation of target available in the Municipal Bodies, adds the report.

Urban local bodies, include 147 Municipal Boards (MB), 34 Municipal Councils (MC) and seven Municipal Corporations, in Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan Municipal Act empowers the municipalities to levy taxes to generate their own revenues and prescribes the manner for their realisation. The municipalities generate revenues by levy tax, user charges, fines and fees among others.

An audit of revenue collection system in 17 municipal boards reveals that there was an average shortfall of 42.69% at the state level and 51.35% in test checked municipal boards in collection of non-tax revenues from 2013 to 2016 There was no justification for fixation of target available in the municipal boards, it says.

The CAG report states that municipal boards did not frame/amend the requisite bye-laws in many cases resulting in their inability to levy fees/charges/rent from defaulters for erecting mobile towers and registration of mobile towers annual fee, non-recovery from marriage places and license fee from shops, hotels, restaurants, buildings and land user/bidders.

Rent from shops, buildings, rest house etc from 348 tenants amounting Rs 5 crore were outstanding.

There was an average shortfall of Rs 48.69% at state level and 46.57% in test checked municipal board in collection of tax revenues in the three years. There was an average gap of 70.68% between total expenditure of municipal boards and their own revenue collection and an average gap of 42.53% in the test checked municipal boards.

The shortage of manpower ranged from 36.11% to 50.30% adversely affecting the collection of tax/non-tax revenue.

The CAG concludes that there were weakness in levy, demand and collection of tax and non-tax revenue due to reasons such as shortages in man power, weak internal controls and monitoring. Further, the targets for revenue collections were not fixed rationally. The collection of own revenue of the municipal boards continues to be around 30% of their expenditure, continuing their dependence on grants and loans from state and central governments. Under these circumstances, the report says, these municipal bodies were far from achieving self sufficiency in order to function as the independent units of third tier of the government.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 21:25 IST