Special Correspondent

Finds deficiencies in budgeting and expenditure control

Chennai: An integrated audit of the Fisheries Department by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has stated that lack of infrastructure and deficiency in implementation resulted in a production much lower than the State's potential.

Picking holes in the department's financial management, the CAG report noticed deficiencies in budgeting and expenditure control between 2004-09.

While savings ranged between 14 and 42 per cent, supplementary provisions were in excess of requirements and surrender of funds ranged between 12 and 42 per cent, the report stated, indicating the absence of a mechanism for monitoring and reviewing expenditure as well as estimating the actual needs of the department.

Lack of infrastructure and deficiencies in the implementation of schemes resulted in annual production ranging from only 3.08 lakh tonnes to 3.97 lakh tonnes of marine fish during 2004-09, as against the State's potential of 7.19 lakh tonnes per year.

Similarly, non-maintenance of ponds in usable condition, non-raising of fingerlings in ponds, and poor fish production from reservoirs resulted in annual production ranging from 0.87 lakh tonnes to 1.66 lakh tonnes of inland fish as against the potential of 2.46 lakh tonnes per year. The non-receipt of adequate Central funds delayed settlement of diesel subsidy claims of fishermen and the State was yet to settle claims amounting to Rs.26.49 crore.

Out of the 1,564 posts sanctioned for the department, 554 are vacant. As technical posts constituted 35 to 40 per cent of the total vacancies, the implementation of schemes may have been affected, the CAG said in the report for the year ending March 31, 2009.

A performance audit of the Comprehensive Wasteland Development Programme (CWDP) disclosed that release of funds without assessing the actual progress resulted in blocking of government funds ranging from Rs.27.93 crore to Rs.53.80 crore.

ELCOT funds

The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) had not utilised Rs 9.94 crore out of the Rs 36.98 crore sanctioned by the Centre for the computerisation of land records scheme during 2000-08. Though the scheme was in its twentieth year, it had not achieved its optimal functional level.