Utilisation certificates, audit accounts not submitted
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has been asked to discontinue grants to autonomous departments which have been lax in following financial rules meant for preventing frauds.
According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s report tabled in Parliament last month, a number of departments have failed to submit Utilisation Certificates (UCs) within the specified time-frame required for transparent flow of capital. It said that non-submission of UCs results in non-assurance that the money was actually utilised for the purpose for which it was sanctioned, and that the high pendency of UCs is fraught with the risk of misappropriation of funds and fraud.
“Financial Rules provide that for the grants, Utilisation Certificates should be obtained by the departmental officers from the grantees and after verification these should be forwarded to the Accountant General (A&E) Jammu and Kashmir within 18 months from the date of their sanction, unless specified otherwise,” reads the CAG report. “However, 1774 Utilisation Certificates worth Rs 8219.90 crore were outstanding as on March 31, 2019. Out of 1774 outstanding UCs, 404 UCs amounting to Rs 2246.91 crore were outstanding for more than one year and 548 UCs amounting to Rs 3263.58 crore were outstanding for more than two years.”
The Education Department is the lead department in this laxity, followed by the Housing and Urban Development Department, the Agriculture Department, the Health and Family Welfare Department, and the Tourism Department. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation and the Jammu Municipal Corporation are mentioned among Urban Local Bodies. Likewise, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), the Kashmir University and the Jammu University have also been found wanting.
About 55 autonomous bodies have been entrusted to CAG under Section 14 of the CAG’s (DPC) Act, 1971, and a total of 821 annual accounts were awaited from these autonomous bodies as on March 31, 2019. This is notwithstanding the fact that the matter was taken up with these bodies time and again for submission of annual accounts for audit. In respect of 10 autonomous bodies, 84 accounts were not submitted for a period ranging from 1 to 24 years.
LAHDC Leh, LAHDC Kargil, Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority, SKUAST-K, SKUAST-J, EPF Board Srinagar, J&K Housing Board, Khadi Village and Industries Board, Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board and State Legal Services Authority are also bodies which have not submitted UCs as were required, as per the CAG report.