CAG audit reveals lapses of ₹ 203.97 crore in Kerala

Kerala lost Central assistance of ₹195.82 crore in implementation of PMAY-G

June 01, 2021 04:29 pm | Updated June 02, 2021 09:46 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Kerala Governor addresses the State Assembly on May 28, 2021

Kerala Governor addresses the State Assembly on May 28, 2021

Instances of misappropriation, fraud, lapses in internal control, loss of Government of India assistance, underutilisation of assets, shortcoming in implementation of rules and programmes involving ₹203.97 crore has been detected in the Compliance Audit of Departments and Autonomous Bodies under General and Social Services in Kerala by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG).

The report of the C&AG for the General and Social sector for the year that ended on March 2019 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

In the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana–Gramin (PMAY-G) launched in April 2016 to provide ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, the C&AG found that State lost Central assistance of ₹195.82 crore during 2016-18 due to its failure to attain the physical and financial progress prescribed by the Centre.

Monitoring was deficient at various levels of programme management units. The scheme intended to provide houses to 42,431 identified beneficiaries in rural areas. The houses were targeted for completion within 12 months from the date of sanction.

The audit revealed that deficiencies in implementation of the erstwhile Indira Awaas Yojana due to non-assessment of housing shortage, lack of convergence, and lack of technical and quality supervision persisted in the implementation of the PMAY-G also.

The grama panchayats had failed to ensure selection of eligible beneficiaries in the Permanent Wait List, assist the old and infirm in construction of houses, identify land to the landless, and converge schemes for access to basic amenities.

Irregular sanctioning of houses in the name of male members and failure to facilitate loans to beneficiaries by block panchayats were also noticed. Instances of construction of houses without obtaining building permit and clearance from Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority were seen.

The C&AG has also found instances where funds released by the State for creating public assets for the benefit of the community were not utilised, were blocked and unfruitful, and were unproductive due to indecisiveness. There was also lack of administrative oversight and concerted action at various levels. Failure to adhere to codal provisions and lax supervisory controls resulted in misappropriation of ₹1.84 lakh in General Hospital, Neyyattinkara, ₹6.46 lakh in the District Hospital, Mavelikkara, and suspected misappropriation of f ₹0.83 lakh in Taluk Hospital, Fort, Thiruvananthapuram.

Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, offered Master of Physical Education without obtaining the approval of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in 2013-14. During 2013-18, 115 students were awarded an M.PEd Degree and despite denial of recognition by the NCTE in 2017, 80 students were further admitted to the academic year 2018-20.

The purchase of a mobile incinerator costing ₹2.14 crore by the Local Self Government Department without assessing its economic viability resulted in its under-utilisation and consequent decommissioning without realising the intended objective, the C&AG said.

Failure of Kolazhy grama panchayat to adhere to the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Property Tax, Service Cess, and Surcharge) Rules, 2011, led to a revenue loss of ₹37.71 lakh. Failure on the part of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation to safeguard blasted rubble obtained from the Vilappilsala Solid Waste Management Project resulted in loss of ₹31.02 lakh, the report said.

The construction of a modern fish market by Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation without proper investigation and correlating its design with the requirements of the vendors resulted in non-utilisation of the modern fish market constructed for ₹23.25 lakh, rendering the expenditure unfruitful.

The C&AG said failure of District Collectors and the Central Plan Monitoring Unit in complying with the directions of the Centre to convert Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme Savings Bank accounts into Savifix/Saviplus accounts resulted in loss of interest of at least ₹4.76 crore.

The report contained results of Compliance Audit of Departments and Autonomous Bodies under the General and Social Services, including Departments of Health and Family Welfare, Higher Education, Local Self-Government, and Planning and Economic Affairs.

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