HYDERABAD: The finance department is of the view that the Telangana audit and treasury departments are not living up to the expectations of the state government. Finance minister Etela Rajender reportedly made this clear by taking the top officials of the two departments to task.
“Last year, the state’s receipts were `80,000 crore and we spent crores of rupees on various programmes and schemes. But the state audit department did not function effectively to check the irregularities in the implementation of the programmes,” the finance minister reportedly expressed his displeasure.
Following this, the state audit department officials informed the finance minister that though they recommended action against some erring officials or contracting agencies, the district collectors did not initiate any action against them. “Submit the monthly audit reports directly to me. I will take action,” Rajender said. Though comptroller and auditor general (CAG) was known to all, the audit department’s functioning was not so popular.
“Actually, the CAG report will be scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). No one knows what action the PAC will recommend. But, in case of the audit department, the officials can directly recommend action against erring officials or agencies. The audit department’s recommendations have to be implemented compulsorily,” an official in the finance department explained.
Once, the audit department found that due to the negligence of any employee the state government incurred a loss of `10 lakh or so. The recovery will begin from the said employee from the next month onwards. Universities, government departments, public servants and others will be covered under the audit department. But the state audit did not make any major findings in the last three years.
“The finance minister wanted the officials to act tough,” an official of the finance department said.
Delay in payment of bills
With the payments being delayed, Etela was also angry over the attitude of the treasury officials. “The delay in the payment of bills to various sections of the people is sending wrong signals that the state has no coffers,” Rajender felt. “When payments are delayed at the Treasury, the public blame the finance department for the same. We have enough money and there is no dearth of funds. Do not suffer small contracting agencies, general public and do not delay the salary bills of the government employees,” the minister ordered.