A clear case of double drawal, says PDR
Dimapur, July 20: The State Finance Department is making a habit of issuing double Drawal Authority (DA) for the same work giving rise to serious doubt about the intent of issuing such double DAs.
In the latest case, the State Finance Department had issued two Drawal Authorities (DAs) for the same work amounting to Rs 4 crores (Rs 2 crores for each DAs). The two DAs dated 3 November 2017 and 20 December 2017 were issued by the Budget & Monitoring Cell (B&MC), Finance Department in favour of Planning and Coordination Department under Demand No. 27, revealed the People for Democratic Rights (PDR) citing RTI reply.
The two DAs were issued by different officers. The first DA issued on November 3, 2017 (DA No, 21) by a deputy secretary said the drawing limit will remain valid on November 16&17, while the DA issued on December 20, 2017 (DA No. 38) by an under secretary said the DA will remain valid only on December 22, 2017.
The break-up of the two DAs are an exact facsimile of each other wherein the gross, deductions and net amounts are the same for each project. The DAs were classified under ‘Development’ head and pertained to six works as shown in the DA.
But this is not the first time that the State Finance Department has been found issuing double DAs for the same work. A similar double drawal for construction of a bridge over River Tizit on Mon-Tizit road was highlighted in the media last year. At that time, the Finance Department clarified that the drawal authority was issued for the second time since the amount was not drawn for the first drawal authority.
“Whom was the Department trying to take it for a ride? If the first DA was not drawn, then while issuing the second DA, the FD should have mentioned “in supersession of DA dated” etc which is a usual practise followed by the FD whenever earlier DA is not drawn or the amount is enhanced. Hence, it can safely be concluded that this is a case of double drawal,” said the PDR.
“In both the DAs, no mention was made whether it was 1st, 2nd or 3rd instalment etc on. This is another point where PDR strongly concludes that it was not a case of instalments but a clear case of double DA,” it said.
The question is whether any authority is investigating the regularity in issuing of double DAs for the same work by the FD? There appears to be serious lapses and irregularities going on in the department and corrective measures must be taken immediately.
In another irregularity, the PDR revealed that Finance Department released Rs 1 crore dated 30 March 2018 in favour of Planning & Coordination Department for works carried out under Evaluation Department.
“When the Evaluation Department has its own Demand No 44, under what norms did the FD release the DA in favour of Planning Machinery under Demand no 27 for works clearly mentioned as under Evaluation Department,” asked the PDR.
Stating that this amounts to total undermining of the Evaluation Department which is no less important than any other departments, the PDR asked the FD to clarify as to why DA was issued arbitrarily to Planning Department when the works were under Evaluation Department. “Which Department executed the works? Planning Department or Evaluation Department,” it questioned while asking the concerned departments to also clarify.
The break-up of works for which Rs 1 crore was released included construction of security fencing with gate and site development for flat type staff quarter at DEO office, Dimapur – Rs 20 lakh; construction of retaining wall/site development/security fencing at DEO Office, Longleng – Rs 30 lakh; and construction of retaining wall/security fencing/bore well for flat type staff quarter, Kohima – Rs 50 lakh.
The PDR also asked the FD to clarify why no deductions were made for the said projects.
Rs 1 cr for 10 beneficiaries
The PDR also revealed that the B&MC, Finance Department released Rs 1 crore in favour of Planning Machinery under Demand no 27 dated 20 March 2017 for financial assistance to 10 beneficiaries @ Rs 10 lakh each. It asked the concerned department to furnish in public domain complete details of the beneficiaries and against what projects and locations the amounts were released.
The PDR also appealed to the Planning Department to inform the public as to whether it publicly notified regarding availing such financial assistance and the requirements/eligibilities thereof. According to PDR, many such beneficiaries under the Planning Department are “clandestinely selected” without making open invitation through the local dailies where many deserving citizens may also want to apply to avail such benefits.
The PDR wondered whether such financial assistance are meant for deserving persons after making open advertisements or only for selected few having connections.
(Page News Service)