PAC slams diversion of funds from MPs dev scheme

New Delhi: Funds released by the Centre for the MPs` Local Area Development scheme were diverted for other schemes and money utilised for inadmissible items, a PAC report has said, slamming the ministry concerned for failing to seek action against erring officials.

In its report on MP Local Area Development scheme, the Public Accounts Committee said that Rs 4.67 crore of the funds were diverted to other central and state schemes by 22 district authorities of seven states, although they are not authorised to do so.

"What further irks the Committee is the fact that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, instead of taking prompt action when the irregularities were pointed out by audit (CAG), is yet to write to the state governments for taking action against the authorities concerned," the report tabled in Parliament recently said.

It said while in some cases diverted funds have been received back, the PAC wants the ministry to impress upon the state governments to initiate disciplinary action against those involved in irregularities.

The Committee also found that in 13 states, 35 district authorities utilised Rs 1.30 crore from the fund on inadmissible items like payment of honorarium, wages, travelling expenses of staff, fuel for official vehicles and purchase of laptops.

The PAC also found instances of doubtful expenditure including non-existence of assets in West Bengal and Jharkhand, payments made on doubtful muster roll entries in Bihar and on doubtful vouchers in Mizoram and Jharkhand.

Although the governments of West Bengal, and Mizoram have furnished certain explanations on the matter, "the state governments of Bihar and Jharkhand did not bother to even respond to the irregularities pointed out by Audit," the report said.