BHUBANESWAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has taken exception to the surrendering of the total budget provisions made under some schemes denying intended benefits to beneficiaries.
The State government has surrendered 100 per cent of the budget provision amounting to Rs 1,201.45 crore made in 24 programmes in 2019-20. Similar surrender of funds amounting to Rs 2,731.20 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,788.12 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 2,686.12 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1,304.17 crore in 2018-19 was also reported by the CAG.
The surrenders were mainly attributed to non-release of Central share, dropping and non-sanction of projects, delay in the approval of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and Covid-19 lockdown.
“In five cases, no reasons were furnished for surrender of provisions. No specific reasons for non-release of Central share, dropping of projects were furnished. Surrender of funds due to Covid-19 is not tenable in audit as Covid related lockdown was declared in the last week of the financial year 2019-20,” the audit report said.
The government had made a provision of Rs 529.77 crore for the Water Resources department for different irrigation projects. While a provision of Rs 400 crore was made for irrigation under BKVY anticipating NABARD finance under rural infrastructure development fund, around Rs 110 crore was budgeted for the renovation of defunct LI points and another Rs 20 crore for two medium irrigation projects.
In its response to the CAG, the department said the funds under BKVY was surrendered as NABARD did not sanction the projects. Delay in the tender process, non-implementation of scheme and lockdown were cited as the reasons for surrender of Rs 20 crore allocated for two medium irrigation projects. The Energy department which received Rs 110 crore for construction of grid sub-station surrendered 78 pc without any reason.