CAG report reveals irregularities in government schemes in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The performance and compliance audit of several projects and schemes in Odisha by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has brought to fore several irregularities in general and social sectors including losses of around Rs 155 crore to the State exchequer due to improper management of PMGSY.

A report of the audit of the general and social sector for the year ended March 2017 was tabled in the Odisha Assembly today and later the Accountant General of Odisha, Bibhudatta Basantia along with other senior officials released the details of the report during a presser.

As per the report, the Odisha government has incurred losses in Central funds to the tune of about Rs 155.33 crore after failing to implement Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in a proper way. While the length of 121 rural roads under the Core Network differed from the DPR and due to the mismatch, these roads were not approved for construction, the report pointed out.

The report stated that under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project, 56 multi-purpose cyclone shelters were additionally constructed thereby violating the recommendations of IIT, Kharagpur which led to an extra expenditure of Rs 77.84 crore to the state exchequer.

The CAG has revealed that the state government has also not adopted the reforms suggested in the Model Prison Manual. The Home Department did not submit Utilisation Certificate for the amount of Rs 75 crore received from the 13th Finance Commission, as a result of which, the Union Government did not release the balance amount of Rs 25 crore which led to losses to the State exchequer.

The CAG report has also pointed out that against the target of providing water connection to 35 percent households by 2017; only 3.70 percent households were given connections.

Odisha Police Housing Welfare Corporation Limited has constructed 643 staff quarters with plinth area in excess of that prescribed in the Orissa Public Works Accounts Code thereby leading to an extra expenditure of Rs 26.76 crore, the report stated.

The audit also shows how unutilised funds were retained in saving/current accounts in violation of the instructions of the Finance Department which resulted in loss of interest to the tune of Rs 15.39 crore.

Similarly, the decision to award contract for setting up Language Laboratories in 108 colleges of the state to a private firm on nomination basis was not in order, the CAG report found. It further stated that after spending Rs 22.88 crore on the project, there were no enrolments in 42 colleges.

The CAG report pointed out failure of hospitals in imparting training to the doctors to use sophisticated equipments. This led to idling of equipment rendering the expenditure of Rs 4.49 crore unfruitful, it stated.