CAG points out discrepancies in welfare schemes’ implementation by past governments

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The Comptroller & Auditor General on Tuesday pointed out discrepancies in implementation of social welfare schemes including mid-day meal (MDM) and highlighted how past Delhi governments had failed to obtain fund utilisation certificates from various institutions.

Incidentally, most of the CAG’s findings is for the period when Delhi was being ruled by the central government through LG’s office.

The auditor also criticised the performance of the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation, saying that it failed to formulate a perspective plan for tourism promotion in the city despite 39 years of its formation.
The report pointed out under assessment and short levy of revenue to the tune of Rs 905.66 crore in 2001 cases during 2013-14.

“There were delays in obtaining utilisation certificates (UCs) from various grantee institutions for the grants released to them. Out of a total of 5,235 grants amounting to Rs 26,434.30 crore given till March 2013, 4,784 UCs amounting to Rs 19,064.02 crore were awaited from various departments at the end of March 2014.
“Out of 4,784 outstanding UCs, 2,267 UCs (47.39 per cent) amounting to Rs 5,651.17 crore were due for more than 10 years,” CAG said in its report.

Assessing the MDM scheme, it said mid-day meals were not served for the prescribed number of days in both primary and upper primary schools.

“Also, out of 2,102 samples of cooked meals, a total of 1,876 samples (89 per cent) failed tests for nutritive value during 2010-14.”

Service providers did not obtain mandatory license from the Food Safety Department and were running their kitchens without ‘NOCs’ from civic agencies and fire agency, it added.
Further, it said out of 18,000 children studying in Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education centres supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, only 1,154 children were covered during the period 2013-14.

“The enrollment, attendance and retention of children in schools could not be enhanced,” said the auditor report.
In selected primary schools, the average attendance decreased from 74 per cent in 2009-10 to 66 per cent in 2013-14, it added further.

Referring to Working of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, the report said it did not formulate a perspective plan for tourism promotion in the city despite 39 years of its formation (1975).

Tourist inflow in Delhi as a whole, registered an increase of 108 per cent, whereas it increased only by 30 per cent in the tourist spots owned by the Company during 2009-14, it said.
“Vacant craft and food stalls and non-holding of cultural events on regular basis at the Dilli Haats, led to declining footfall and consequent inadequate exposition of Indian Art and Crafts, Culture and Cuisine.”
On state finances, it said the Delhi Government had invested Rs 17,060.35 crore (as of 31 March 2014) in statutory corporations, rural banks, joint stock companies and co-operatives.
However, the return on these investments was a meagre 0.07 per cent in 2013-14 while the government paid interest at an average rate of 8.80 per cent on its borrowings during 2013-14, it said.

Overall fiscal liabilities of the state increased from Rs 26,544.20 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 32,080.32 crore in 2013-14 (20.86 per cent), said the auditor.

With regard to revenue, CAG found that “test check of records of 80 units of the Department of Trade and Taxes, State Excise, Transport and Revenue conducted during the year 2013-14 showed under-assessment/short levy/loss of revenue aggregating Rs 905.66 crore in 2001 cases.”

During the course of the year, concerned departments accepted under assessment and other deficiencies of Rs 20.83 crore involved in 16 cases which were pointed out in audit during 2013-14, it said.

In its audit on Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme (MLALADS), CAG said it suffered from many deficiencies, leading to absence of clarity and transparency in implementation of the scheme.
It said the Urban Development Department (UDD) sanctioned 248 works of Rs 39.90 crore without ensuring essential pre-requirements.
“Works executed by the implementing agencies were marred with several irregularities such as excess expenditure, unauthorised cancellation/closing of sanctioned works, delay in award and completion of works, award of works without calling of tenders, it said.
Further, UDD did not maintain asset register and stock register for assets created under the scheme, did not institute any system for audit of the scheme funds and submission of UCs by the implementing agencies. On jail management, the audit report said that prison cells were grossly overcrowded as there were 14,209 prisoners against capacity of 6,250.

It also mentions that there was lack of monitoring mechanism to ensure internal checks and controls for efficient utilisation of funds by implementing agencies.
Referring to the working of PSUs under the Delhi government, it said out of 17 working PSUs for which the accounts were received up to 30 September 2014, 11 PSUs earned profit of Rs 1,315.42 crore, 5 incurred loss of Rs 2,950.45 crore, while 1 PSU was at break-even.
“Four PSUs had arrears of 14 accounts as of September 2014. The delay in finalisation of accounts resulted in violation of the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.”
On Motor Monitoring Tax, CAG said poor contract management and absence of timely action resulted in extra burden of Rs 3.19 crore on vehicle owners.
Only 1,70,581 out of 10,17,764 vehicles were affixed with High Security Registration Plates (HSRPs), it further stated.

(With agency inputs)

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