Kohima, February 19: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has revealed that Nagaland Government departments have not submitted utilization certificates in respect of 255 cases involving an amount of Rs 865.30 crore as on March 2018.
This was revealed in the audit report of the CAG on Nagaland State Finances for the year ended March 31, 2018, report No. 1 of the year 2019, a copy of which was tabled in the just concluded State Assembly budget session.
The CAG stated that financial rules provide that for the grants provided for specific purposes, Utilization Certificates (UCs) should be obtained by the departmental officers from the grantee.
It stated that after verification, these should be forwarded to the Accountant General (Accounts & Entitlements) within 12 months from the date of their sanction unless specified otherwise.
The major defaulting departments, which had not submitted the UCs were School Education, Rural Development, Social Security and Welfare, Youth Resources & Sports, Cooperation, it said.
As per finance accounts, the CAG report stated that UCs in respect of 255 cases involving an amount of Rs 865.30 crore were outstanding for submission as on March 2018.
According to CAG report chart, department wise outstanding position of UCs from 2012-13 to 2016-17 as on March 2018, School Education tops with 28 Outstanding Utilization Certificates (OUCs) amounting to Rs 215.65 crore, followed by Social Security & Welfare with 25 OUCs worth Rs 64.54 crore, Youth Resources & Sports had 15 OUCs worth Rs 17.69 crore, Rural Development with 14 pending OUCs of Rs 248.76 crore, Cooperation with two OUCs at 13.05 crore, Fisheries – 7 OUCs at Rs 3.15 crore while Health & Family Welfare had 10 OUCs but lowest financially at Rs 57. 24 lakh.
Interestingly, the CAG while rounding up several departments tagged it as ‘Others’ for the same period who has 154 cases of Outstanding Utilization Certificates worth Rs 301.85 crore.
In this, the CAG maintained that as the OUCs are not being submitted in a timely manner within one year or as per specified time frame, after their becoming due for submission, there is a strong need for the Government to put in place necessary mechanism for ensuring their timely submission.
Besides, it said the Government needs to take strict action against the departmental officers concerned including supervisory failures in this regard for not ensuring submission of UCs in a timely manner as high pendency of UCs is fraught with the risk of frauds and misappropriation of funds.
Moreover, it said due to lack of action to ensure submission of UCs it would not be ascertained whether the grants had been utilized for the purpose for which these were given.
Nonetheless, the CAG said that while accepting the facts during the audit in December 2018, the State Government said necessary action would be taken to submit the pending UCs on priority.
In its recommendation, the CAG told the Government to enforce strict compliance to the timelines for submissions of the UCs by the recipients and failure to comply with the timelines should be scrupulously dealt with while action against erring officials needs to be initiated.
(Page News Service)