CAG report for the year ended March 2011

Local Self-government Institutions (LSGIs) in the State have completed only 30 per cent of the projects formulated during 2010-11 with the Corporations registering the largest shortfall in Plan performance, followed by municipalities, grama panchayats, block, and district panchayats.

LSGIs formulated 1,99,378 projects with a total estimate/outlay of Rs.10,500.96 crore during 2010-11 under decentralised planning. Of these, 1,47,222 projects were taken up for implementation and the LSGIs had spent Rs.3,521.88 crore. Only 60,495 projects were completed by the LSGIs, according to the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, LSGIs, for the year that ended March 2011. Addressing a press conference here, Principal Accountant General (Social and General Sector Audit), R.N. Ghosh said the report of the CAG was placed before the State Assembly on December 12.

Most local bodies in the State had not adhered to the procedures relating to reporting monthly progress of expenditure, as per the report. Defective preparation of annual financial statements, non-preparation of monthly accounts, and improper maintenance of asset register were noticed, he said.

The development expenditure fund provided for from the State Budget constituted 22 per cent of the State Plan outlay. As against the revenue of Rs.438.56 crore collected by the LSGIs, the report said the expenditure on establishment amounted to Rs.464.06 crore.

The share of Government of India grant in the total receipts had gone up from nine per cent in 2006-07 to 16 per cent in 2010-11. Out of Rs.1,888.38 crore released by the Union and State governments for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), Rs.670.94 crore was lying unspent with the State Budget/State-Level Nodal Agencies and Poverty Alleviation Units thereby defeating the purpose for which the funds were earmarked.

The total expenditure incurred by the LSGIs for all the CSS was Rs.189.19 crore and the balance of Rs.1,028.25 crore was lying with the LSGIs, the report stated.

Kochi Corporation

The collection of taxes in Kochi Corporation came in for sharp criticism. According to the report, there was no fair and transparent system for assessment of property tax here. There had been wide variations in computation of property tax for similar properties in the same area. The Corporation had no mechanism to watch the stage of construction relating to lapsed permits. Due to lack of coordination between the town planning and revenue sections, property tax assessments had not been done, the CAG said.

Dispensing with the need to obtain occupancy certificate as the sole basis for getting water and electricity connection had compromised ‘a vital control mechanism to bring new buildings into the tax net.’ Profession tax collection from traders and professionals had suffered due to lack of a comprehensive database. The Corporation was also faulted for failure to carry out inspections to monitor collection of entertainment tax.

The CAG had recommended development of maps of city areas and identification and listing of all properties.

Comprehensive IT-enabled database of all tax-payers should be created for proper collection and accounting of revenue. The Corporation had been asked to adopt IT-enabled ticketing using bar code reader for theatres.

Vilappil plant

The report said solid waste management in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation area from the year 2000 had not been satisfactory. This was due to ‘several deficiencies in the operation of the treatment plant’ at Vilappil panchayat by ‘the operator and the Corporation.’ This had made inevitable a ‘further substantial’ amount of Rs.9.56 crore for the upgrade of the facility.

A sum of Rs.7.48 crore was given to the operator towards cost of the plant and the operational loss incurred during the seven years was outside the scope of the agreement. The report said the closure of the plant in December last year had affected solid waste management in the corporation area with adverse implications for the environment.

  • 1,99,378 projects formulated during 2011-12

  • Only 60,495 projects were completed