The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has wasted no time to get cracking on recovering money sanctioned by the previous regime to its various departments which was never accounted for. Since taking over from the outgoing Democratic Front (DF) alliance, the new government has managed to trace a fraction of the funds, that is, Rs 6,110 crore.
mid-day’s report on November 3 on the issue
The amount had been distributed to various departments for completing 17,005 public works and projects, but has been lying unused. Worse, no utilisation certificates (UCs) sheets giving an account of the spending had been submitted for the money since 2004-05. In fact, this amount is part of the Rs 71,563 crore for which no UCs had been submitted.
The report on Oct 13
This paper had earlier reported that a parliamentarian had demanded an inquiry and relevant action in the matter, alleging appropriation of funds under the previous establishment (‘Probe where state spent R71k-plus crore: BJP MP’, November 3).
Earlier this year, a report by the Comptroller And Auditor General of India (CAG) had pointed out the Congress-NCP government’s omission in accounting for the Rs 71,563 crore funds, distributed to various departments for completing 1,14,753 development projects and tender works.
According to the CAG, non-submission of UCs meant that all that money was lying unused, prone to misuse and illegal diversion by miscreants, giving rise to rumours of a potential scam.
According to state officials, the practice of skipping submissions was cultivated by the previous DF regime, which had allowed an accumulation of the unused funding since 2005.
"Not only did this expose public funds to misuse and scams, but also caused notional losses to government as it was forced to borrow for infrastructure funds at a higher rate in the absence of genuine funds available at their disposal. None of the departments bothered to credit this money back to state treasury," said an official.
The most number of UCs have been recovered from education department, which submitted the certificates for 2,893 items worth Rs 2,365 crore. The UCs have been recovered from various departments, such as school education, home, tribal and others.
Now, with the BJP having traced the ‘missing’ money, the total unaccounted funds stand at Rs 65,453 crore, allocated against 97,748 items. The government said recovery of the remaining budgetary funds needs to be fast-tracked.
Departments that have now submitted UCs
Rs 2,365 cr
Rs 1,054 cr
Rural development and water conservation
Rs 1,087 cr
Dairy and fisheries
Rs 868 cr
Rs 540 cr
Rs 405 cr
Rs 370 cr
Higher and technical education
Rs 152 cr
Rs 100.31 cr
Rs 98 cr
Women and child
Rs 88 cr
Rs 73 cr
Rs 49 cr