CAG Calls For Timely Submission Of UCs, Adjustment Of Advances On AC Bills



JAMMU, Apr 3: Taking serious note of the delay in filing of utilisation certificates (UC) of funds in Jammu and Kashmir, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has called for timely submission of the UCs and necessary steps to ensure adjustment of the advances drawn on the Abstract Contingent (AC) bills within the stipulated period.

In its report on the Union Territory Finances for the year ended March 31, 2022, the CAG also called for timely preparation and submission of accounts by various autonomous bodies in the Union Territory, highlighting that 37 numbers of accounts were not rendered for the period ranging between one to 12 years.

“There are 3,859 number of UCs amounting to Rs 11,295.43 crore pertaining to erstwhile State and UT of Jammu and Kashmir outstanding as on 31st March 2022,” the report, tabled in the parliament last week, observed.

It said while 3,089 UCs for grants paid up to 30 October 2019 amounting to Rs 8,158.32 crore by the erstwhile state and 770 UCs for grants paid by UT of Jammu and Kashmir amounting to Rs 3,137.11 crore were outstanding up to 31 March 2022.

The CAG said the department-wise breakup of total outstanding UCs shows that 77.73 per cent of total outstanding UCs pertain to four departments, of which 43.13 per cent of outstanding UCs pertain to the education department.

Rural Development Department, Agriculture department and health and medical education department are others that have failed to submit UCs till the end of the last financial year.

“Non-submission of the UCs means that the authorities have not explained as to how funds were spent over the years. There is also no assurance that the intended objectives of providing these funds have been achieved,” the report said.

The CAG said this assumes greater importance if such UCs are pending against Grants-in-Aid meant for capital expenditure.

“It is imperative that the government should monitor this aspect closely and hold the concerned persons accountable for submission of UCs in a timely manner,” it said.

The CAG said the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has not framed revised rules relating to drawal of Grants-in-aid and submission of UCs thereof but in terms of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir (Pre re-organisation) Financial Code, UCs should be furnished within 18 months from the date of receipt of grant or before applying for a further grant on the same subject whichever is earlier.

The report said Detailed Countersigned Contingent (DCC) bills in respect of Rs 5,830.41 crore drawn on 2,154 number of AC bills up to 30 October 2019 and DCC bills for Rs 11,448.03 crore drawn on 1,139 AC bills post reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir are outstanding ending 31 March 2022.

“Advances drawn through Abstract Contingent Bills and their detailed countersigned bills not submitted increased the possibility of wastage/ misappropriation/ malfeasance,” the CAG said.

In respect of eight autonomous bodies which were to render annual accounts to CAG, the report said 37 numbers of accounts were not rendered for the period ranging between one to 12 years.

The CAG said Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has submitted the accounts for audit for period up to 2008-09, accounts for 12 years are pending, while SKUAST, Kashmir, has not submitted its accounts for audit for the last 11 years.

“Non-submission/delay in submission of accounts by these Bodies receiving substantial funding from the budget is a serious financial irregularity persisting for years. Despite taking up the issue of preparation and submission of accounts to this office with the Government, the accounts are in arrears,” it said.

It said the delay or arrears in finalisation of accounts carries the risk of financial irregularities going undetected and entails possibility of fraud and mis-appropriation.

“This has also deprived the Legislature/Government the opportunity to get feedback on their activities and financial performance. The Government may take up the matter with the bodies for timely preparation and submission of accounts for presentation to the UT Legislature,” it said.

Besides CAMPA and SKUAST Kashmir, the accounts of JK Employee provident funds organization, J&K Housing Board, J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB), J&K Building and other construction workers welfare board and State Legal Service Authority are pending for years together.

In its recommendation, the CAG sought timely submission of UCs by the department in respect of grants released for specific purpose and necessary steps to ensure adjustment of the advances drawn on the AC bills within the stipulated period as required under the extant rules.

“The issue of timely preparation and submission of accounts may be taken with respective autonomous bodies,” it said.  (Agencies)


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