Kerala

Statutory funds not reaching KRSA: CAG

‘₹435.51 cr. for the period 2008-2009 to 2017-2018 has not been transferred to KRSF’

At a time when 12 persons on an average are getting killed daily in road accidents in the State, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audit has revealed that statutory funds were not being provided to the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) and that ₹435.51 crore for the period from 2008-2009 to 2017-2018 had not been transferred to the Kerala Road Safety Fund (KRSF).

“Despite clear provisions in the statutes, there was a short transfer of ₹435. 51 crore to the KRSF. The government has not taken any steps to rectify this and the KRSA was unable to allot funds for projects identified for road safety,” the CAG report for Revenue Sector for March 2018 has noted.

The CAG has pointed out that as per Section 11(3) of the KRSA Act, 2007, 50% of the compounding fee collected should be transferred to the KRSF in the subsequent year. As per Rule 3(4) of the KRSA Rules 2007, up to 1% of the road safety cess collected by the Motor Vehicles Department can be charged for expenditure on account of collection of cess and the balance should be transferred to the KRSF’s head of account.

The CAG audit has also revealed that diversion of compounding has resulted in loss of share of ₹15.57 crore, 50% of the compounding fee, to the KRSF.

The ₹45.83 crore collected as compounding fee using 100 speed detection cameras during 2014-2015 to 2017-2018 was credited to the bank account of the police instead of remitting to the head of account for compounding fee. Of the amount, ₹23.16 crore was diverted to Keltron, who installed the speed camera, and ₹7.78 crore the Police Department.

The CAG has pulled up the KRSA for the poor financial management of the projects executed through implementing agencies and District Road Safety Councils (DRSC) for improving road safety. Out of the 214 projects with an estimated cost of ₹147.8 crore implemented during 2013-2014 to 2017-2018, the audit has revealed blockage of funds, loss of interest and diversion of funds in the 54 projects verified.

The instances of the non-compliance of the provisions of the KRSA Act 2007 were cited in the report. Appropriate rules regarding reports, return and consolidated reports were not framed. No annual report was prepared and submitted to the government as envisaged in the Act and Rules, certified reports were not prepared till date and expert members were not nominated in the DRSC, the CAG has said.

The CAG has pointed out that the KRSA does not maintain any information about the present status of the implementation of the project, amount pending with the agencies after completion and up to date account of refunds regarding completed projects.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:38:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/statutory-funds-not-reaching-krsa-cag/article30810444.ece

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