The latest audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as regards the Government’s performance on various accounts does not present a picture worth appreciation but merits consideration beyond doubt. In fact, there have been many shortcomings pointed out in the administration’s performances and lack of seriousness, leading to delay in various projects of immense importance.
One such example has been the administration’s failure to set up International Trade Centre at Pampore. As pointed out by the CAG, Rs 3.94 crore was blocked for more than a decade while there has been an “unfruitful” expenditure of Rs 1.06 crore.
As per it, the Government of India released had Rs five crore as the first installment of the project to the SIDCO for setting up the the facility in December 2008.
The funds were retained by the Corporation for around two years and transferred to the bank account of Managing Director, Handicrafts Department in January 2011 after the GoI sought utilization certificates.
Out of the funds released, the CAG revealed that an amount of Rs 1.01 crore was advanced to R&B department between September 2012 to January 2016 for construction of fencing around the land identified for the project and an expenditure Rs 0.05 crore incurred for obtaining license under the Companies Act 2013.
The work on the project couldn’t be taken up due to multiple reasons, although the land measuring 371 kanals was transferred in favour of Director Handicrafts for establishment of ITC way back in 2004, it revealed.
The DPR was prepared in January 2014 but the project works could not be taken up as the decision with regard to identification of executing agency between SICOP and JKPCC and finalisation of the DPRs was not taken, it added. This is not one of the cases where the administration’s performance has been point out in the CAG report in a bad light. There are plethoras of cases and such state of affairs cannot be approved of. As should be the purpose of the CAG reports, the concerned officers should be held accountable for slackness.
The Executive is answerable to the legislature and to the people for all its decisions. The answerability is enforced through the CAG where it involves finance and accounts. The CAG of India has, not for the first time, pointed out the inadequacies but there seems to be a lack in fixing the responsibility.