Staff Reporter

  • Jal Board accused of "gross irregularity and non-compliance with mandatory provisions"
  • `Authorities failed to deduct the cess amounting to Rs. 2.68 crore from the bills of contractors'

    NEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board has been accused of "gross irregularity and non-compliance with mandatory provisions" for failing to recover cess from the bills of contractors by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

    "The DJB failed to recover cess amounting to Rs. 2.68 crore from the bills of contractors as required under the Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Cess Act, 1996. Due to the non-remittance of the cess, the Board was also liable for penalty of a sum not exceeding Rs. 2.68 crore," the CAG had said in its latest report.

    Govt. directive

    In 2005, the Delhi Government had directed all the departments, public undertakings and bodies carrying out any building or other construction activities to deduct a mandatory one per cent of the approved cost of work from the bills of contractors as cess, under the provisions of the Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Cess Act, 1996. The amount deducted from the contractor's bill was to be remitted within 30 days to the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board. The Act also had a provision for imposition of penalty not exceeding the amount of cess for non-payment of cess within the specified time.

    The cess was to be levied on all contracts with effect from January 2002.

    Critical of the DJB's lackadaisical approach the report cites: "Test check of records of five divisions of the DJB for the period 2005-06 revealed that the authorities had failed to deduct the cess amounting to Rs. 2.68 crore from the bills of 18 contractors for works executed by them."

    Taking a sharp view, the CAG notes: "The failure on the part of the divisional authorities to deduct the cess and deposit it with the designated authority was a gross irregularity and amounted to non compliance with the mandatory provisions of the Act."

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