Over 350 CAG audit paragraphs await action from Govt depts
Srinagar, Feb 26: Majority of the administrative departments of Jammu and Kashmir government have repeatedly failed to submit the Action Taken Notes (ATN) to the Auditor General on issues, which were highlighted and had featured in CAG reports from 2001 to 2016.
As per official documents, at least 682 audited paragraphs, mostly related to the functioning of the departments, featured in the CAG reports from 2000-01 to 2015-16, which on the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the state legislature were to be furnished within six months of the respective CAG reports.
However, only 329 paragraphs were discussed by the committee till September last year, while the rest (352) are still outstanding.
As fresh circular issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) on February 14 said the Accountant General (Audit) Sushil Kumar Thakur, on January 8, had asked the departments to furnish ATNs on audited paragraphs, which had evoked no response from them.
The Accountant General had asked the concerned Administrative Secretaries to submit ATNs on the Audit Paragraphs “without any further delay.”
The pleas from the government for submission of the ATN have been continuously avoided since 1997, when Finance Department had ordered the departments to furnish the ATN of various paragraphs to the Auditor General.
In July 2017, a circular was also issued on instructions of the Finance Department and General Administration, which too met the same fate of ill-responsiveness by the executives of government departments.
Auditor General on January 8 wrote a letter to Chief Secretary to seek assistance for impressing the departments for the submission of ATNs within prescribed time.
“As you would appreciate, speedy follow-up action on the Audit Paragraphs is essential. I shall therefore be grateful, if you could impress upon the concerned departments to furnish the ATNs within the prescribed time limit,” he wrote in a letter.
In its list of paragraphs, the CAG has highlighted for the need of reviewing the functioning of departments including Agriculture Department, Forest, Public Works, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Transport, Tourism, Industries and Commerce, Social Welfare and Power Development.
While it highlighted shortcoming in the functioning of these departments, Action Taken Notes on prevalence of favouritism, extra expenditure on works, block of funds and scams was also sought.
In one instance, the then Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department was asked to submit Action Taken Note on embezzlement of government money in 2010, which the department as per the CAG report has not responded yet.
Similarly, issues including leakage of revenue were pointed out in Transport department in 2002, wasteful expenditure due to deficient planning in Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation in 2011.
As per the document, Industries and Commerce Department has not responded to the issue of loss of revenue in a dubious firm since 2002.
In 2004, the CAG report has noted about “unfruitful” expenditure on computerization of land records, which too has not been responded yet.