Odisha loses Rs 191cr of central aid because of mismanagement

NAVEEN PATNAIK government claims that the centre is not providing adequate financial support to the state but a report proved it completely wrong. The state government had to lose central assistance to the tune of Rs 190.72 crore during 2005 to 2011 because of low spending of available scheme funds by the implementing agencies.

According to the latest CAG report, scrutiny of records of seven district rural development agencies (DRDAS), Balasore, Cuttack, Ganjam, Gajapati, Nuapada, Sundargarh and Puri and information collected from panchayatiraj department revealed that the centre curtailed assistance of Rs 168 crore under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) scheme.

The report said central assistance was curtailed in 17 districts in 2008-09, 16 districts in 2009-10 and seven districts during 2010-11. The reasons were excess carry over of funds, non-submission of utilisation certificates, chartered accountant’s audit report and non-submission of proposal within the stipulated period.

The CAG observed that the DRDAS could not ensure timely utilisation of fund by panchayat samitis and submission of utilisation certificate to the centre. As a result, central assistance for construction of 40,561 IAY houses in the state could not be availed.

However, the commissioner-cum-secretary of the department maintained that due to delayed release of Central assistance of Rs 120 crore in February, 2009, imposition of model code of conduct for elections to parliament and assembly, flood crisis in some districts and non-completion of IAY houses, there was unspent balance.

 The CAG, however, maintained that model code of conduct was in force only during March-May, 2009 while much of unspent balance was in 2009-10 when there were no elections and floods in the state. Has the monitoring mechanism at the state level as prescribed under the IAY guidelines been adequate, efficient and effective, the State could have benefited by Rs 168.72 crore, it said.

Similarly, the centre held back central assistance of Rs 3.19 crore for Boudh district under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) due to low spending of development grant. Centre also did not release the capacity building grant of Rs 18.81 crore for all the 19 districts due to non-utilisation of earlier alloted funds and retention of unspent balance beyond the prescribed limit. This was in addition to the non release of Rs 33.73 crore to the state by the Centre during 2006-10 due to low spending.

Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, etc receive funds under the BRGF.

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