BHUBANESWAR: The Naveen Patnaik Government may have been complaining of inadequate financial support from the Centre but its administrative departments are the biggest culprits when it comes to spending them. Not just that, most of them are found to be sitting pretty on cases of misappropriation and bungling involving crores of rupees.
The latest CAG report has revealed that a large number of misappropriation and defalcation cases are pending in different departments and in case of some, the inquiry is pending for 25 years and more.
The report detected as many as 1,769 pending cases of inquiry involving government funds worth `17.11 crore.
The CAG has advised the Government to expedite departmental inquiries and finalise all fraud/misappropriation cases by drawing up a time-bound programme.
That is not all though. The CAG also has brought to the fore several cases of violation of the budget manual as its different departments surrendered huge amount of funds. The two education departments came up the list. The School and Mass Education Department surrendered `847.48 crore as against the total savings of `846.07 crore, while Higher Education Department surrendered `27.99 crore as against a saving of `27.88 crore. This was excess surrender of `1.41 crore and `0.11 crore respectively.
The funds were surrendered in violation of the budget manual on March 31, 2011. The CAG pointed out that amounts surrendered were not in conformity with the actual savings indicating lack of monitoring of monthly expenditure as provided in the budget manual by the departmental secretaries.
The report also pointed out the unnecessary supplementary provision made for some departments during the year. A supplementary provision of `200.88 crore was made during November in 2010 for the School and Mass Education Department which proved to be unnecessary in view of the `846.07 crore savings of the department.
The government admitted that due to non-implementation of some schemes, the supplementary provision remained unspent.
The CAG has advised the government to strengthen internal controls in the executing agencies to utilise funds within the stipulated time to avoid delay in submission of utilisation certificates. The latest report said that the government must ensure that utilisation certificates are furnished only after actual utilisation of the earmarked funds and that funds are not diverted for other purposes or getting misutilised.
The report also observed that there is a huge pendency in receipt of utilisation certificates relating to grants-in-aid paid to various autonomous bodies, panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies. This was due to release of grants by the government as a matter of routine without watching for timely receipt of utilisation certificates. Besides, submission of inaccurate utilisation of certificates without actual expenditure of funds were also noticed by the CAG which has asked the departments to provide timely information to the Accountant General about grants and loans advanced.