KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 24: Several Government Departments, including Chief Minister’s Secretariat, in Nagaland have utilised over Rs 562 crore without submitting bills as on March 2021.
“There were 373 Abstract Contingent (AC) Bills involving Rs 562.30 crore pending for adjustment by submission of Detailed Countersigned Contingent (DCC) Bills, as of March 2021”, stated the State Finances Audit Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the year ended March 31, 2021.
The drawal of contingent charges on items of expenditure by a State Government, for which final classification and supporting vouchers is not available at the time of drawal are made on ‘Abstract Contingent’ (AC) Bills.
Out of the 373 AC bills, 23 amounting to Rs 43.48 crore pertained to the year 2020-21, while an additional 350 AC bills amounting to Rs 518.82 crore drawn up to 2019-20 were also outstanding as on March 31, 2021, it said.
Civil Police has the highest pending AC Bills worth Rs 320.32 crore followed by Home Department at Rs 98.45 crore, Youth Resources & Sports (Rs 36.04 crore), Tourism (Rs 17.87 crore) and Chief Minister’s Secretariat (Rs. 14.80 crore).
“Expenditure against AC bills at the end of the year indicate poor public expenditure management and may point to the drawal being done primarily to exhaust the budget provision.
Non-adjustment of AC Bills is fraught with the risk of misappropriation and therefore, requires close monitoring by the respective DDOs for ensuring submission of DCC bills”” the CAG remarked.
Further, there is no assurance that the expenditure of the State Government reflected in the Finance Accounts is correct or final due to non-receipt of DCC bills to that extent, it said.
The CAG stated that the Drawing and Disbursing Officers and Treasury Officers concerned failed to ensure compliance with the extant Central Treasury Rules and that AC Bill were drawn without adjustment of previously drawn AC Bills.
Thus, there was an environment of financial indiscipline, which calls for action against the officers responsible for the lapse in this regard, the CAG said.
Indiscriminate use of Minor Head 800
During the year, the CAG pointed out that expenditure of Rs 1,230.64 crore under 73 Revenue and Capital Major Heads, constituting about 9.67% of total expenditure of Rs 12,724.85 crore was booked under Minor Head 800-Other Expenditure.
Minor Head (MH) 800-Other Expenditures/Other Receipts is intended to be operated only when the appropriate Minor Head has not been provided in the accounts, it said, adding that routine operation of MH 800 is to be discouraged, since it renders the accounts unclear.
Similarly, the CAG said, receipts of Rs 264.74 crore under 29 Revenue Major Heads, constituting about 2.32% of the total Revenue receipts of Rs 11,427.43 crore was booked under MH 800-Other Receipts under concerned Major Heads.
During 2020-21, there were 45 Major Head under Receipts where MH 800 was operated, while there were 24 Major Heads where other specific Minor Heads were already operated.
The nature of receipt was found to be recurring in nature for the past 3 years in 38 MHs, it said.
Similarly, 49 Major Heads, under Expenditure where Minor Head-800 was operated, there were 37 MHs where other specific Minor Heads were already operated.
The nature of receipt was found to be recurring in nature for the past 3 years in 47 MHs.
Thus, MH 800 was still operated where there was specific Minor Heads already available. Indiscriminate operation of omnibus Minor Head 800-Other Expenditure affected transparency in financial reporting and obscured proper analysis of allocative priorities and quality of expenditure.
(Page News Service)