S. Dorairaj

Diversion of funds, failure to report donations are among the findings

  • Rs.7.22 crore diverted in Nilgiris and Coimbatore to show achievement in small savings
  • 10,183.275 tonnes of rice was diverted to other schemes in Nilgiris during 2001-2005
  • In Coimbatore and Villupuram, the cash portion of wages was not paid for 473 works
  • 5,077 "ineligible works" were undertaken at an estimate cost of Rs.52.79 crore

    CHENNAI: The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended March 31, 2005 has brought out certain irregularities in the implementation of the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana in the State.

    The Centre launched the scheme in 2001 for providing additional wage employment to the poorest of the poor in rural areas.

    Diversion of funds for other schemes, failure to report receipt of donations, diversion of foodgrains, sale of rice at lower rates, non-submission of coupons and non-payment of wages as per guidelines are among the findings.

    The Centre provided the entire foodgrain component, and shared the cash component with the State in the 75:25 ratio.

    According to the report, out of 30 districts, Coimbatore, Salem, Thanjavur, Nilgiris, Villupuram and the composite Dharmapuri were test-checked.

    Diversion of funds to the tune of Rs.7.22 crore had been reported from the Nilgiris and Coimbatore, which were transferred during 2002-2005 to the post-office account under the Small Savings Scheme in March every year to show achievement in small savings. The amounts were returned during April or May of the subsequent year.

    The diversion of the SGRY Stream II funds to the tune of Rs. 86.57 lakh during 2004-2005 to the SGRY-SPL, owing to funds not being released by the State Government in Coimbatore, deprived the village panchayats of their share, it said.

    The quantity of the storage lifted by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) from the Food Corporation of India and the closing stock of SGRY rice as on March 31, 2005 indicated that 10,183.275 tonnes of rice was diverted to other schemes in the Nilgiris during 2001-2005.

    The Government's reply in November 2005 attributing the diversion to the shortage of storage capacity in the TNCSC godowns was not tenable, as prolonged storage could be avoided by proper indenting, the report said.

    During 2002-2005, SGRY rice, valued at Rs.3.49 crore, was diverted to the public distribution system and supplied at Rs.3.50 a kg in Coimbatore, Salem and Thanjavur districts, though the rice received from the Centre was valued at Rs.5.65 a kg, the price assumed by the State for calculating the daily wage rate.

    Another finding is related to issue of coupons for bulk release of rice, which was not permitted under the scheme. In Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Thanjavur and the Nilgiris districts, bulk quantities extending up to 10,000 kg were released in one or two coupons for the entire work executed under the Streams II and I during 2001-2005.

    The report has also highlighted non-adherence to the SGRY guidelines on payment of wages. In all the six test-checked districts, it was noticed that the cash portion of wages was distributed only on completion of work. In Coimbatore and Villupuram districts, the cash portion at least 25 per cent of the wages was not paid for 473 works. The entire wage of Rs.3.87 crore was paid in kind.

    Neither the panchayat unions nor the District Rural Development Agencies maintained employment registers in Coimbatore and the Nilgiris, owing to which the accuracy of man-days generated, the number and category of people employed, especially the target groups such as the Scheduled Castes/Tribes, and women labourers, could not be ensured in audit, the report said.

    A total of 5,077 "ineligible works" were undertaken, at an estimate cost of Rs.52.79 crore, in all the test-checked districts, it pointed out.