There were various irregularities on the part of Delhi government in implementing social welfare schemes, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out in its latest report.
“There is evidence to show that grants worth nearly Rs 6,000 crore given by it were not utilized for the intended purpose even 10 years or more after the amounts were given”, the report made the shocking disclosure.
“48 per cent of UCs amounting to Rs 5,651 crore were due for more than 10 years,” the report pointed out.
Under government rules, the UCs have to be compulsorily obtained by the department giving the grant from the agency receiving the grant.
This is done to ensure that the grant is used for the designated purpose and conditions attached to the grant are complied with.
Without the certificate, the government does not really have the proof that its money has been spent as intended.
According to the CAG report, the major defaulter was the urban development department accounting for Rs 17,416 crore or 91 per cent of the amount for which certificates were outstanding.
The erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board did not furnish certificates of grants received from the department.
“Utilization certificates for grants received from the department have also not been furnished by the land and building department of DDA”, the report noted.
In order to improve the situation, the CAG ordered the state government to strengthen the internal control mechanism of the government departments.
“Watch timely submission of utilization certificates and release further grants only after receipt of utilization certificates of earlier grants”, the report recommended.
Apart from the missing utilization certificates, the CAG also highlighted other financial irregularities.
As on March 31, 2014, large balances amounting to Rs 1,151.65 crore were outstanding under “suspense heads”.
The CAG explained that Delhi government had no separate public account to account for “ suspense heads” and that such transactions were carried out under the “Account of the Union Government”.
“The transactions are recorded initially under the ‘suspense heads’ which are required to be reviewed at short intervals so as to ensure that no item remains unadjusted longer than is reasonably necessary,” the CAG noted.
Therefore, large amounts lying in suspense heads means nobody is quite sure which head of accounts they fit into, adding opacity to the accounts.
The major portion of the outstanding amount under the head “cash settlement suspense account” pertains to the ministry of road transport and highways and to Delhi Police.
All such transactions are ultimately cleared either by payment of recovery in cash or by book adjustment.