Delhi govt doesn’t know what it spent Rs 19,000 crore on
AdvertisementRecent audit of the Delhi state government by CAG has unmasked shocking facts. The CAG report has shown that of the 5,235 grants worth Rs 26,434 crore for projects released till March 2013, 'utilization certificates' for 4,784 grants worth Rs 19,064 crore, or about three-quarters of the amount, were outstanding till March last year. Certificates for about half of these grants 2,267, amounting to Rs 5,651.17 crore, were outstanding for more than 10 years.
In a news report by The Economic Times, the major defaulter, according to the CAG report, was the urban development department accounting for Rs 17,415.91 crore or 91.4% of the amount for which certificates were outstanding. The erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board did not furnish certificates of grants received from the department. The land and building department of DDA also did not furnish utilization certificates for grants received from the department, the report noted.
Finding this alarming state of spending, CAG has sais, "Strengthen the internal control mechanism of the government departments to watch timely submission of utilization certificates and release further grants only after receipt of utilization certificates of earlier grants."
Incidentally, this is a problem that besets government finances not just in the capital, but all over the country, including central schemes such as MGNREGS.
Missing utilization certificates are not the only problem with financial reporting in the Delhi government's books. The CAG also points out with much concern that large balances amounting to Rs 1,151.65 crore as on March 31, 2014 were outstanding under "suspense heads". In 2009-10, the balance under this head was Rs 101.02 crore, it rose to Rs 158.81 crore in 2010-11 and went up further in 2011-12 to Rs 215.62 crore. In 2012-13 it was Rs 273.78 crore and it suddenly shot to Rs 1,151.65 crore in to Rs 1,151.65 crore in 2013-14.
Taking note of this exponential rise, CAG explained that Delhi government had no separate public account and such transactions were carried out under the "Account of the Union Government". All such transactions are ultimately cleared either by payment of recovery in cash or by book adjustment.
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