The CAG has suggested the state to make the right budget on the basis of credible estimates based on the need (indicative picture)
The report also mentions how private sector companies (Rs 837 crore), private educational institutions (Rs 17 crore), trusts (Rs 79 crore), NGOs (Rs 18.35 crore), individuals through the government (Rs 1.56 crore) were transferred directly in the year 2019-20.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has exposed several loopholes in the financial dealings of the Gujarat government. The CAG has suggested the state to make the right budget on the basis of credible estimates based on the need. The State Finance Audit Report of the CAG for the financial year ending March 31, 2020, was placed in the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday. It was also the last day of the two-day monsoon session. The CAG also said that funds transferred directly from the Center to various implementing agencies in Gujarat, including private trusts, educational institutions and individuals. are not visible in the annual finance accounts of the state.
These funds have grown by over 350 per cent since 2015. The CAG said that spending without budget provision is a violation of financial regulations and it shows lack of financial discipline. The CAG in its audit also found that the transfer of funds to 14,273 gram panchayats has not been shown in the government accounts. This means that the accounts of these gram panchayats are from scheduled banks (outside the government account). The government auditor said that the government has no mechanism to trace unutilized funds lying in the accounts of panchayats.
CAG raised questions
The CAG said, “According to the Gujarat Budget Rules, 1983, no expenditure can be made on any item without budget provision or on the basis of estimation of supplementary demand. In these two cases, expenditure of more than Rs 1 crore (total Rs 11.07 crore) in 2019-20 was done without budget provision. Decided to release additional central assistance to state governments.
where was the transfer
In Gujarat, fund transfer from the Center directly to the state implementing agencies continued during 2019-20 as well. The CAG said that the funds transferred directly by the central government had increased by 350 percent to Rs 11,659 crore in 2019-20. The report also mentions how private sector companies (Rs 837 crore), private educational institutions (Rs 17 crore), trusts (Rs 79 crore), NGOs (Rs 18.35 crore), individuals through the government (Rs 1.56 crore) were transferred directly in the year 2019-20.
Through which schemes the funds were sent
The report said that the central government is directly transferring funds to the state implementing agencies for various schemes and programs in the social and economic sectors. These funds were not routed through the state budget/state treasury system. The CAG said that these parameters do not present the complete picture. Among the schemes of the Center in which funds were transferred during the year 2019-20, Rs 3133 crore is also included in the form of Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi. Rs 593 crore was transferred for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Rs 182 crore released for MP Local Area Development Scheme. At the same time, Rs 97 crore was released for the Prime Minister only Vandana Yojana.
(with language input)
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