Saturday, April 1, 2023

Rs 99,178 crore may not have reached beneficiaries in Bihar: CAG

Bihar State Finances Audit Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the year ending 31st March 2022 (Report No.1 of the year 2023) reveals that 23, 188 Utilisation Certificates (UCs) valued at the expenditure of Rs 99,178 crore from 2021 to 2022 by the several departments remained outstanding till March 31 last year. 

The UCs of expenditure of Rs 99,178 crore of grants-in-aid made by the state government has not been submitted. In its report, CAG has observed that "in case of non-submission of the UCs, there is a risk that the amount mentioned in finance accounts may not have reached the beneficiaries."

The CAG report was tabled in the state assembly on March 31, 2023. The report was tabled by Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Bihar Finance Minister. 

According to the CAG report, “During the year 2021-223, 23,188 UCs of various projects and schemes (amounting Rs 99,178 crore), which had become due (drawn up to August 31, 2020) for submission, were not submitted by the bodies and authorities of the state against the grants-in-aid”.

The report further said, “Therefore, there was no assurance that the amount of Rs 99,178 crore had actually been utilized, for the purpose for which it was sanctioned/authorized by the Legislature. High pendency of UCs is fraught with risk of misappropriation of funds and fraud. The major defaulting departments were Panchayati Raj (Rs 34,707.48 crore), Education (Rs 25,867.47 crore) and Urban Development department (Rs 11,092.7 crore).” 

Responding to the CAGs report, Bihar Finance minister has asked all heads of departments to submit UCs within the stipulated time. Rule 271 of the Bihar Treasury Code (211) states that UCs in respect of grants-in-aid received by the grantee must be furnished by the grantee to the authority that sanctioned it, within 18 months from the date of receipt of grant or before applying for a further grant on the same subject.

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