Leh, Kargil councils gained azadi from financial audits long ago

A Aalim Ahmad
The Jammu and Kashmir government has perpetually ignored to ensure financial discipline and accountability in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil. This had created a precarious situation for the functioning of the two councils whose finances have not been approved by the state legislature, even as it was a requirement under the provisions governing their formation.
Interestingly, the economist Haseeb Drabu also missed to regulate the financial code for the two councils during his second budget presentation of the PDP-BJP coalition.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its recent report has pointed out that the two councils have never submitted their accounts for audit in grave violation of the financial code.
“The LAHDC Leh has failed to submit accounts for audit since its inception in 1995-96 although substantial sums are being released to the Council and unspent balances at the end of the year remain credited in a non-lapsable fund in the Public Account of the state,” the CAG report pointed out.
The LAHDC, Kargil, is sailing in the same boat. Since its inception in 2004-05, the accounts of the LAHDC, Kargil are in arrears, the report said.
The report said the non-submission of accounts or delay in their submission is a serious financial irregularity that has continued for years without check.
The report has pointed out that the lack of auditing has allowed the two hill councils to go scot-free without being overseen by the state legislature.
“The state legislature has been deprived to get a feedback on the activities of the two councils besides monitoring their financial performance,” the report says.