Senior Himachal government officials fail to enforce accountability – CAG report

Shimla: The Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) in its report for 2009, table today in the house has indicted failure of senior officials to enforce accountability and protect the interests of the government.

Pointing out the number of inspection reports and audit observations pending settlement for the last three years, the report categorically states that that the increase in audit observations is indicative of non-compliance with the government instructions to send replies and report on further action taken.

By June 2009, of the 7586 audit observations for 2007 as many as 3209 involving an revenue of Rs 334.72 crore were pending settlement. Of the 8085 audit observations for 2008 as many as 3377 involving an amount of Rs 403.75 crore and for 2009 of the 7975 audit observations as many as 3375 and an amount of Rs 470.48 crore were pending settlement, the CAG observes. The issue was even brought to the notice of the chief secretary in August, 2009.

As for compliance, of the audit objections amounting to Rs 124.87 crore accepted by the government for the period 2003-04 to 2007-08, by March 2009 a recovery of only Rs 35.48 crore had been made.

Of the Rs 568.60 crore arrears reported for 20088-09 an amount of Rs 167.83 crore was recoverable from HP state electricity board.

In its report on 23 government companies and statutory corporations, the auditor has found that total investments in them declined from Rs 5104.22 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 4256 crore as on March 2009.

Whereas 8 of the working PSU’s had earned a profit of Rs 47.68 crore in 2008-09 and equal number had reported a loss of Rs 47.80 crore for the year.

A review of 3 years audit reports showed that state PSU losses of Rs 550.50 crore and infructuous investment of Rs 8.58 crore were controllable with better management, the auditor states. “The losses were attributable to various deficiencies in functioning of the PSU’s,” says the report.

In 20 of the working state PSU,s the accumulated losses on March 2009 stood at Rs 943.78 crore.

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