Government Funds Embezzled, Wastefully Spent In Odisha: CAG

Bhubaneswar : The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest audit report have detected misuse and embezzlement of funds by various government departments.

“During the course of audit, significant deficiencies which impacted the efficient functioning of the State Government including cases of misappropriation of government money, loss of revenue, idling of assets, wasteful expenditure, were noticed across various Departments”, the CAG audit pointed out.

Erroneous determination of land acquisition compensation Erroneous consideration of cut-off date for fixation of market value of land by the Land Acquisition Officer, Chhatrapur in Ganjam district led to excess award of compensation of Rs 29.45 crore, it said adding that procedures of Section 26 of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 was not followed.

The Rural Development Department had perpetrated wasteful expenditure of Rs 4.22 crore as it shut the construction work of two bridges midway. Two bridge works were undertakem without complying with the regulation framed by Inland Waterways Authority of India with regard to horizontal and vertical clearance as well as non-adherence to their subsequent instructions, the CAG report said.

Detecting yet another lapse, CAG said the Angul district administration had sanctioned 12 acres of government land on lease in favour of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation in November 2017, for subsequent transfer to Jindal India Thermal Power Limited (JITPL) at a concessional rate of Rs 72.95 lakh instead of Rs 3.03 crore, thereby extending undue favour of Rs 2.30 crore to JITPL in sanction of lease. This was done despite JITPL being the unauthorised occupant of land. It amounted to irregular sanction of lease of land at concessional rate of premium.

There was an idle expenditure of Rs 5.96 crore for the construction of Maternal and Child Health building without making plan for its operationalisation. The building remained unused, thereby rendering an expenditure of Rs 5.96 crore incurred on construction of the building idle.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation committed a gross irregularity as it did not rescinded contract with an advertising agency despite latter’s failure to pay licence fee and interest thereon nor did it encash the bank guarantee. Thus, the possibility of recovery of outstanding amount of Rs 13.02 crore from the advertising agency was remote.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation could not avail power supply for the newly constructed fruit market complex due to non-availability of space for transporting transformer. In absence of electricity, 78 shops could not be rented out, which resulted in loss of revenue of Rs 1.13 crore. There was loss of revenue due to the idle assets. Besides the BMC neither terminated the contract nor forfeited the outstanding dues of VFS Global Services Limited, for breach of contract, resulted in infructuous expenditure of Rs 2.62 crore.

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