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CAG raps Odisha over pending utilisation certificates for Rs 36,000 crore

The auditor's report said utilisation certificates amounting to Rs 1,388.74 crore were pending for more than 10 years in 17 departments as of March 2020.

Published: 10th September 2021 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 09:36 AM   |  A+A-

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For representational purpose.

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the State government for non-submission of 27,849 utilisation certificates (UCs) for grants given to various departments involving an outstanding amount of Rs 36,193.89 crore as of March 31, 2020.

“High pendency of utilisation certificates is fraught with the risk of misappropriation or diversion of funds and fraud,” the CAG said in its latest report on the State’s Finances for 2019-2020 which was tabled in the Assembly on Thursday.

The audit said UCs amounting to Rs 1,388.74 crore were pending for more than 10 years in 17 departments as on March 2020. The purpose for which grants-in-aid were sanctioned and authorised can be confirmed only on receipt of UCs which would also safeguard against diversion of grants for other purposes. Further, to the extent of non-receipt of UCs, the expenditure shown in accounts cannot be treated as final nor can it be confirmed that the amount has been utilised for the sanctioned purpose, it added.

In 2019-20, the State government had released Rs 28,465.46 crore as grants-in-aid, for which UCs were not received in respect of Rs 16,301.68 crore (57.27 per cent) of the grants. “There is no assurance that the expenditure of Rs 16,301.68 crore had actually been incurred for the purpose for which it was authorised,” the report said.

As many as 22,956 UCs amounting to Rs 13,199.76 crore were pending up to 2017-18. Panchayati Raj department is the major defaulter with 7,114 pending UCs for expenditure amounting to Rs 13,753.25 crore which is 38 per cent (pc) of the total pending amount.

The Housing and Urban Development had 8,515 pending UCs for grants involving Rs 6,463.83 crore (17.86 pc) followed by Planning and Convergence department with 1,794 UCs amounting to Rs 2,963.17 crore (8.19 pc) and School and Mass Education department with 360 UCs involving Rs 2,961.14 crore (8.18 pc).

The Odisha General Financial Rules (OGFR) 173 prescribes that UCs in respect of grants provided for specific purposes should be obtained by the departmental officers from the grantees and forwarded to the Principal Accountant General by June 30 of the succeeding year.



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