SRINAGAR: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has blown lid off a major scam wherein some government departments were `fraudulently’ releasing funds against the already completed projects.

This followed complaints received by Anti-Corruption Bureau regarding alleged misappropriation of funds in various developmental works.

 

Sensing scam, the anti-graft body formally wrote to the government about the complaints “regarding embezzlement of funds in various departments through release of funds repeatedly against already restored works which are in good condition”.

Sources said ACB has initiated a probe against officials for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for developmental projects.

Under pressure, the government has also tightened noose around departments to ensure that there is no misappropriation of funds.

“In order to ensure that same works are not shown to have been executed repeatedly, it is imperative that location of all works is fully described through the GPS coordinates and photographs before and after execution of work. These ought to be mandatorily produced before making the payment. Further no work should be taken up without administrative approval,” reads a government circular.

The government has made it clear that unless GPS coordinates and photographs are submitted, no funds shall be released. “Withdrawal of bills against any non-existent renovation work needs to be stopped forthwith,” it reads.

Sources said departments have also  been directed  to accord administrative approval only after satisfying that same work has not been taken up for execution in earlier years by other agencies.

Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a probe after several departments started developmental works without seeking the prior administrative approval.

Every government department is bound to seek the administrative approval from the Finance, Planning and Development Departments before starting any development works in the new Union Territory.

The departmental heads have also been directed to evaluate performance on the basis of timely completion of targets, outcomes of the schemes, priorities fixed, quality of work done and status of benefits of projects.

Several departments, sources said, while projecting new schemes and proposals for inclusion in the annual action plans did not consult the Finance and Planning and Development departments.

An official noted that concurrence of Planning and Finance department is necessary before projecting new developmental works.

Planning and Development Department acts as a nodal agency for the implementation of planning process in Jammu and Kashmir.  The department has also been entrusted with the task of maintaining active liaison with the Government of India, especially with the NITI Aayog to ensure effective implementation of centrally sponsored schemes in the new Union Territory.

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