District panchayat's Plan implementation

From discrepancies in the disbursement of funds to excessive involvement of external non-governmental agencies in project implementation, the Local Fund Audit report of the district panchayat for the financial year 2009-10 has found serious flaws in the Plan implementation mechanism of the local body.

The audit report, which was released recently, has been forwarded to the district panchayat to seek clarifications on the objections raised.

The report has found irregularities in the implementation of several flagship programmes of the local body, including those in the agriculture and education sectors.

Among the major objections raised in the report is the advance payment of around Rs.1.07 crore to the Kunnathukal Karshaka Thozhilali Kshema Sahakarana Sangham to carry out 48 public works across the district.

‘Huge deposits'

The report says that even though the society is an accredited agency for carrying out civil works, it was undesirable to make such huge deposits to a single external agency.

The report has also come down heavily on the ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Programme) project officer assigned with the implementation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe development schemes for transferring huge amounts of project funds from the government treasury to a personal bank account in violation of norms.

Of the Rs.1.03 crore transferred from the treasury to the bank account via a bill system using demand draft, around Rs.33.54 lakh in unspent funds has been deposited in the personal bank account.

Apart from this, an amount of Rs.1 lakh earmarked for conducting medical camps in tribal colonies has also been transferred to the bank account of the project officer. Of this, only Rs.56,136 has been utilised.

Objections have also been raised regarding the identification of beneficiaries under various Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe development projects.

The audit report says the district panchayat has not complied with the government order restricting the local body from implementing projects below Rs.15 lakh funding.

The report also notes that the budget proposals formulated by the district panchayat in the 2009-10 fiscal lacked a sense of pragmatism.