December 12, 2019 9:34:44 am
Pointing to the Rs 181 crore of unspent grant lying in the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pulled up the Gujarat government for not developing a “monitoring mechanism” for the department and stated DST has “failed to monitor” the utlisiation of grants-in-aid by its subordinate institutes.
DST released grants-in-aid to the tune of Rs 1,132 crore during 2013-’14 and 2017-’18 to six scientific institutes in the state, including Institute of Seismological Research (ISR), Gujarat Council of Science City (GCSC), Gujarat Informatics Limited (GIL), Gujarat State Bio Technology Mission (GSBTM), Bhaskarach-arya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG) and Gujarat Council of Science and Technology (GUJCOST), the auditor stated in its report on the “economic sector”, which was tabled in the Gujarat assembly on Wednesday.
“During the test-check of the records relating to the utilisation of grants-in-aid by GCSC, GIL and ISR, it was observed that there were cases in which the grants were not utilised for the purpose for which they were sanctioned, and were also not surrendered to the DST. In one case, an incorrect utilisation certificate was furnished to the DST,” CAG stated in its report.
The auditor also said ISR submitted incorrect utilisation certificates to DST for the years 2013-’14 to 2016-’17.
“DST had also not developed any monitoring mechanism to ensure the surrendering of unutilised portion of grants by its institutions after the end of the financial year. Moreover, without reviewing the utilisation of previous grants, DST continued to release the grant in subsequent years, Thus, DST had failed to monitor the yearly utilisation of grants-in-aid by its subordinate institutes. CAG found that GCSC had deposited the unutilised grant in Gujarat State Financial Services (GSFS) and thereafter, it continued to demand fresh grant every year. The same was released by DST with the approval of the state’s Finance Department,” the CAG report stated.
CAG also found that GIL provided training in “CCC+” to government officials through private empanelled coaching institutes. The report points out that while three of the six subordinate institutes of DST — GSBTM, BISAG and GUJCOST — had zero unspent grant, GCSC, ISR and GIL had Rs 72.61 crore, Rs 28.33 crore and Rs 80.29 crore of unspent grant respectively, during 2013-’18.
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