THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Local Fund Audit Department has pulled up the City Corporation for its erroneous account-keeping in the audit report for 2009-10. The audit report, completed last month and now before the Corporation for rectification report, has pointed out the huge difference, amounting to lakhs, in the property tax DCB (Demand, Collection and Balance) statements which have been prepared online and done manually by the Revenue section.
In the property tax dues list, the difference between the online data and Revenue data is Rs 81.65 lakh. The online figure is less compared to the manual record. The collection in property tax shows a difference of Rs 95.32 lakh between both online and manual records. Here, the online figure is higher than the manual records. In the balance statement, the online figure is Rs 85.98 lakh lesser than the Revenue account.
The Corporation has made it clear that the annual account is prepared on the basis of the computer statements. This, however, is a far cry from the accounts compiled from the Corporation main office and six zonal offices. The audit report says, ‘’the difference in the DCB statements should be brought under the scanner. The authenticity of the Saankhya software, prepared by IKM, in which the account-keeping is done, should be reviewed.’’
However, the IKM officials point out that the erratic record-keeping during the period was the main reason for the big difference. The Corporation follows accrual-based double entry system through Saankhya software, which records financial transactions real-time. However, it is the Sanchaya software for revenue computerisation which is the basis of Revenue account-keeping.
The time lag in updating the records and calculating the balance receipt often goofs up the account-keeping in the Revenue. It has also been pointed out that the record-keeping is often done manually in the section.
Though the IKM has lately integrated both the softwares, it is yet to be fool-proof. ‘’The main reason is the reluctance of a section of officials to take to computerisation seriously. When there are all provisions for computerised account-keeping, relying on manually-kept registers would not help and will only bring out grave differences,’’ said an IKM official.
The entertainment tax from the theatres has not been entered into the collection register or is being monitored by the officials concerned, the report says. The audit says that the move to renew the licence of theatres which have dues should be stopped. Of the 18 theatres in the city, only four have paid the service charge to the Chalachitra Academy and Film Development Corporation.
It is the same with the account-keeping regarding advertisement tax too. The tax collected for hoardings, banners, flex and cinema posters have not been entered into the registers.
The audit report says that the Corporation has not been levying ad tax as directed by the State Government, making holes in its pocket.