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The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Assam government over 11,641 pending utilisation certificates totalling Rs 24,907.26 crore grants and said it has “risk of misappropriation”.
“11,641 Utilisation Certificates (UCs) in respect of grants aggregating Rs 24,907.26 crore paid to 53 departments of the state government during the period from 2001-02 to 2016-17 were in arrears,” the CAG said in a report tabled in the Assam Assembly on Friday.
In its report on state finances for the year ending March 31, 2017, the CAG pointed out that the education department has Rs 3,473.68 crore worth of 4,569 UCs pending, followed by the rural development department with Rs 3.216.49 crore for 76 UCs and health department with Rs 2,408.94 crore for 295 UCs.
“Non-submission of utilisation certificates is fraught with the risk of misappropriation. Thus, a monitoring system should also be evolved by the respective departments so that expeditious submission of UCs by the recipients is ensured,” the CAG said.
The report said that out of the total pending UCs, 7,067 certificates worth Rs 4,614.22 crore are pending for more than three years, while 19 departments even failed to submit UCs in respect of grants released to them during the period 2001-02.
The CAG report said “Audit mentioned similar observation in earlier audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. But the state government did not make efforts to ensure submission of UCs by respective departments within the prescribed time frame.”
It further said that in the absence of the UCs, audit could not ascertain whether the recipients had utilised the grants for the purpose for which those were given.
“During 2016-17, various departments submitted UCs. On scrutiny, out of 22,417 UCs amounting to Rs 30,986.85 crore, only 10,776 UCs amounting to Rs 6,079.59 crore submitted by various departments were found to be in order,” the CAG report said and asked the departments to settle outstanding UCs in consultation with Accountant General of Assam immediately.