Grants, Covid funds not utilised, says CAG report
Irregularities in Covid management by the health department were flagged by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the legislative assembly on Monday.
BENGALURU: Karnataka’s medical and public health department has the highest cases of outstanding utilisation certificates worth Rs 293.14 crore (90.06%) during the pandemic year (2021-22), a recently released report stated.
Irregularities in Covid management by the health department were flagged by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the legislative assembly on Monday. The audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG), released on July 11, also highlights discrepancies in the health department.
“The pendency in the submission of utilisation certificates not only indicates the absence of assurance of utilisation of grants released for intended purposes but also the lack of monitoring the utilisation of grants released to the grantees by the departments,” the CAG report noted.
It also analysed Covid funds released and utilised during 2021-22. A balance of Rs 521.75 crore of total funds disseminated for Covid control remained unspent with the Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDO) of the department. No separate object head was designated for Covid, due to which allocation and expenditure towards it was not captured in the accounts.
Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said with the PAC report also tabled in the assembly, an inquiry is likely to take place with the suggestion of the chief minister and law minister. The irregularities that seem to have taken place in the procurement of Covid equipment, among other things, will be properly investigated and strict action taken against the culprits.
Akhila Vasan of Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali said, “The government did not seem to use the buffer time between two waves to ensure preparedness.”