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Friday, February 21, 2020

Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi Audit: Payments made for ‘extra work’ for working during duty hours

A list of 18 people was enclosed who were made payments only to arrange chairs at an event.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: February 13, 2020 5:01:10 pm
Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi Audit, chandigarh news, city news, indian express A list of 18 people was enclosed who were made payments only to arrange chairs at an event. (File)

Payments made for “extra work” on working days during official working hours, payments made to 18 people for arranging chairs at an event. This is what the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi did, as pointed out by the local audit department of Chandigarh administration. The audit department has even imposed recovery and said that this amount be recovered from persons responsible.

It was on the complaint of activist R K Garg that special audit of five years- 2014 to 2019 was conducted. The irregularities were pointed out by the audit department.

The audit observed how 68 people were paid for “extra work” on working days within the working hours. Of these, 18 people were paid only to arrange chairs at events.

“During the course of audit it has been observed that the payments are being made to the employees for extra work done by them on working days and within the working hours. All such payments made are inadmissible as employees cannot be paid for the work done by them during official working hours as it is a part of their legitimate duties. The amount for the same be recovered and deposited back in the account of the Akademi under intimation to audit,” the report stated.

A list of 18 people was enclosed who were made payments only to arrange chairs at an event.

“These persons were not the employees of the Akademi and it was informed by the dealing official that they were hired for the arrangement of chairs etc. at the venue for the event. Such payments are inadmissible and may be recovered from the person responsible under intimation to audit,” it was observed.

These people were paid Rs 9,000 for arranging chairs. Irregular payments upto Rs 15000 were paid on different occasions for stay of guest at UT guest house even when stay of only one guest was allowed, but the akademi paid for stay of two persons.

In each case, the audit department asked the akademi to “justify payment of stay of two persons”.

During inspection of accounts, department found that high payments were made to carriage puller for even short distances.

“During the course of audit it has been observed that the following payments made to rehri puller on account of transportation charges of flex for even a short distance are unreasonably on the higher side and the same needs justification. Also, it has been observed that a fixed amount being paid to the rehra puller irrespective of the distance,” it was stated.

The carriage charges paid were nine times higher the regular fare and Rs 9,000 was shown incurred on carriage charges of flex from sector 34 to Tagore theatre.

In May, 2018, three payments were made to the same company, entries of which were not found in the stock register. An amount of Rs 18,500 were also paid for printing of some books, Rs 8064 were paid to the same company for printing of invitation cards and Rs 2596 to same company for a trophy. Interestingly, the payment of Rs 5,865 — which was shown by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi — incurred on farewell of an employee was shown by Sahitya Akademi as well.

Yet again, it was pointed out that these were “personal expenditures”. “During the course of audit, it was observed that a payment of Rs 5,865 was made for organizing a farewell party for an official. Such payments are part of the personal expenditure and cannot be made out of government funds. Therefore, amount for the same be deposited back in the account of Akademi under intimation to audit,” the report said.

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