December 26, 2019 4:29:10 am
Madhya Pradesh Jan Abhiyan Parishad (MPJAP), which functions under the Department of Planning, Economics and Statistics, submitted false utilisation certificates to the tune of Rs 20.80 crore, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pointed out in its latest report (March 31, 2018).
Meant to work as a bridge between the government and NGOs, the government body was accused of employing people ideologically inclined to the RSS and the BJP when Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the chief minister, and was engaged by the BJP government to carry out programmes like Narmada Yatra and Ekatma Yatra. Since the change of guard in December 2018, a question mark hangs over the organization and hundreds of employees.
According to the CAG report, a closing balance of Rs 23.30 crore was available in the bank account of head office of MPJAP (as per annual accounts for 2017-18), of which, Rs 20.80 crore pertained to grants-in-aid received (during 2007-08 to 2017-19) from the department. “However, 100 per cent utilization was shown in the UCs submitted to the department. This shows false UCs amounting to Rs 20.80 crore were submitted by the concerning authorities,” says the report.
MPJAP, in its explanation, said it’s a grant recipient institution and meets expenses from the grant received and that it operates through state, division and district offices. “UCs are issued by the state office after allocating the grants to different offices and balance available with them at the end of financial year is utilized to meet expenses of the next financial year because grants are received late in the first quarter.”
“The reply is not acceptable as UCs should have been submitted on the basis of actual expenditure,” the CAG noted and recommended that the state government identify the issues holding up submission of UCs and strengthen internal control mechanism of the department to watch timely submission of UCs.
The report has also pointed out MPJAP received Rs 338 crore in grant from the department for its activities and administrative expenditure during 2006-07 to 2017-18. However, the body furnished records of UCs amounting to only Rs 305.89 crore pertaining to the audit period 2010-11 to 2017-18. Records of UCs for Rs 32.11 crore for the period between 2006-07 and 2009-10 were not furnished to audit.
The body drew Rs 56.47 crore between 2010-1 and 2016-17 from the capital budget but spent the money on operating activities like salaries, allowances, office expenditure and schemes like Navankur, Prasphutan and Sanwad as also Narmada Seva Yatra and Ekatma Yatra. The auditor noted that the amount should have been used as capital expenditure for minor construction work, not as revenue expenditure, in contravention of rules.
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