CAG highlights non-utilization of funds, unbalanced expenditure by various departments – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Irfan Trambou

Srinagar, 10 April: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has identified several discrepancies in various departments including education, labor and employment, forests, ecology and environment as well as livestock, ranging from non-utilization of funds to irregular expenditure. as well as the non-application of various social protection schemes for workers.
For the Department of Education, CAG in its report pointed out that the funds were released by State Project Director (SPD) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) as part of civil works to directors of the school education in Jammu and Kashmir without any action plan for its utilization. which resulted in Rs 21.48 crore being blocked which then remained unspent.
In this regard, CAG stated that Rs 21.48 crore was released for Director School Education which comprised Rs 9.76 crore for Jammu and Rs 11.72 crore for Kashmir with the order not to use these funds until more detailed instructions are issued. “The case was referred to the government/ministry in February 2021; their responses are awaited (October 2021),” the report said.
With regard to the Department of Forests, Ecology and Environment, the CAG report indicates that the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) did not investigate the preparation of the Annual Plan of Operations (APO) to collect physical data to identify degraded forests.
He said site-specific schemes had not been prepared by the forest divisions for compensatory afforestation on sites contiguous to or near the forest with respect to the 2,757.78 hectares of forest land diverted for purposes. non-forestry.
The report states that Rs 9.24 crore, out of a total expenditure of Rs 140.25 crore, of CAMPA funds was spent on ineligible items such as purchase of office equipment, construction of an office complex, etc.
“There has been irregular expenditure of CAMPA funds of Rs 15.12 crore for the establishment of two zoos,” he said, adding that records of inspection of CAMPA works by officials of the department were not preserved.
The report pointed out that two wildlife custodians prepared a master plan for Jamboo Zoo and Pahalgam Mini Zoo at a cost of Rs 221.00 crore and the proposals forwarded to APCCF CAMPA, were tabled before the executive committee ( EC) and the Steering Committee (SC) and approved in March 2016 and June 2017 respectively.
“The SC, in its deliberations (August 2018) on CAMPA activities, decided to stop any further funding as CAF rules prohibit such activity. By then, Rs 15.12 crores had already been spent,” the report said.
At the Department of Labor and Employment, the CAG observed that the Department had failed to educate workers, which prevented this vulnerable group from claiming benefits under the law.
“Only a small fraction of workers registered with J&K have received benefits under a few elements of the law. The Department has totally failed in registering eligible migrant workers under the law,” he said, adding that various social welfare programs intended to improve the living conditions of workers under the law, such as that the housing programme, insurance and old-age pension have not been implemented.
The CAG said unspent balances under labor fell from Rs 296.19 crore to Rs. 622.05 crore in the five-year period ending March 2020 while over 1,09 915 beneficiaries registered in the sampled districts up to the launch date (June 2017) of the digitization process, the registration records of only 27,853 workers (25%) were uploaded in September 2020.
The CAG also said worker registrations were done without presenting valid proof of age, certificates of employment, even though the Building & other Construction Workers Welfare Board (BOCWWB) did not renew the insurance policy. insurance underwritten by LIC, to assist named persons/dependents of workers on their disability/death.
“Out of 89,800 workers referred for microcredit facility, only 148 workers received a credit card and no workers had taken advantage of the credit facility as of March 2020, resulting in the Rs 30 crore not being utilized deposited with the Bank as security. The Council did not set up a pension scheme for workers who had reached the age of 60,” the CAG said.
Regarding livestock, the CAG said that the construction of a poultry farm and hatchery project in Kupwara for the generation of subsidiary income of women/weaker sections has been undertaken without l administrative approval of the modified site while the expenses of Rs 1.78 crore have thus been incurred. so far and the project has produced no benefits. “The case was referred (March 2021) to the government/ministry; their responses were expected (October 2021),” the CAG said.

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