Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Over 5,000 CAG queries awaiting Modi govt reply!

Unanswered Audit Observations Amount To 15,100

Kapil Dave | TNN

Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi may rake up corruption as a poll plank to put Congress-led UPA government in the dock,but his government has not responded to over 5,000 queries and 15,100 audit observations posed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
            The unanswered CAG queries across departments,if quantified,pertain to suspected irregularities to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.A senior official at the office of Principal Accountant General (PAG),Ahmedabad,said PAG has dashed off a reminder to the chief secretary as well as all department heads concerned.In the last three years,the number of unreplied queries has increased substantially, said the official.
            As per the last civil audit report of accountant general submitted on March 30,2012,the state government has not entertained queries on revenue receipts,inspection reports and audit observations across departments ranging from VAT, ports,transport, industry,mines and revenue,just to name a few.
            As per the Rule 14 of the Gujarat Finance Rules,1971,the state government is expected to respond to CAG queries before the end of the financial year in question.But the Gujarat government has not responded to queries that date back to 2009-10.
            CAG,in its last report submitted to the state government in March 2012,has noted,We recommend that the government may take suitable steps to implement an effective procedure for prompt and appropriate response to audit observations as well as take actions against officials /officers who failed to send replies to the inspection reports/paragraphs as per the prescribed time schedule and also failed to take action to recover outstanding demand in a time bound manner.
            When contacted,chief secretary A K Joti said,These queries need to be answered by the department heads concerned.The chief secretary has no role in it as it is the additional chief secretary (finance) who co-ordinates with CAG officials.We follow the system which is in place since 1950.