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CAG report reveals Uttarakhand spent less funds in health sector

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has made significant observations on the haphazard financial expenditure of successive governments in Uttarakhand during their respective tenures.

“During the last 20 years, the state government spent Rs 47,758 crore in their tenure and did not even bother to regularise it from the assembly,” the CAG report, tabled in the monsoon session of the assembly on Wednesday, revealed.

Commenting on the poor financial management by the state government, the report pointed out, “Moreover, more money was spent than the actual estimate, while not a single rupee could be spent without the will of the legislature.”

The CAG report on state finances tabled in the assembly on Wednesday also raised several questions on the government’s budgetary management in the state finances for the year ended March 31, 2022.

“An amount of Rs 47,758.16 crore, which was spent more during 2005-06 to 2020-21, is yet to be approved by the assembly,” the report said.

The CAG considers it a violation of Articles 204 and 205 of the Constitution.

“During the last six years, Rs 357.17 crore was spent on 75 projects of the Public Works Department worth Rs 509.66 crore, but none of these projects could be completed,” the CAG said, adding that effective steps need to be taken for immediate completion of all these projects.

“Till 2016-17, there were 57 such projects costing Rs 455.66 crore, on which Rs 327.29 crore was spent and their financial progress was also 71.83 per cent, while by 2017-2022, 18 projects were also completed only on the ground from 43 per cent to 53 per cent,” the report said.

“During the three years till March 2021, departmental officers of rural and urban local bodies did not hand over 321 Utilisation Certificates (UC) worth Rs 1,390 crore to the Accountant General (Accounts and Entitlements),” the CAG said, pointing out that “all these certificates should have been submitted by March 2022.”

“Of these, the highest number of 274 UCs are from the year 2021-22, with an amount of Rs 984.40 crore,” the report said.

“There are 39 UCs worth `384.86 crore in 2020-21 and eight UCs worth Rs 20.82 crore in 2019-20 pending,” the CAG said, adding that it was fraught with the risk of misuse of funds and fraud.

Speaking to this newspaper, state finance minister Premchand Agarwal said, “After taking cognizance of the CAG report, the points mentioned in it will be worked out in detail and work will be done towards its solution.”

According to the CAG report, Uttarakhand spent less funds in the health sector compared to the north-eastern Himalayan states. The report advocates more spending on social services, education and health to raise the level of human development. The New Indian Express

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