SC suggests CAG audit of NULM funds

The Supreme Court has questioned whether the money meant to build shelter homes for the urban homeless and poor across the country is was actually lying unspent or had been diverted for other purposes.

A Bench, led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, suggested an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the funds disbursed under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) scheme.

It said such an audit was necessary as the apex court-appointed committee, which is headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Kailash Gambhir and was set up to verify the availability of such shelters, would not look into this aspect.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the amount not spent by the States for the previous year was ₹412 crore, while ₹228 crore had been released by the Centre for 2017-18.

“One thing is that you [Centre] give money and the States do not spend it. For 2017-2018, you have given ₹228 crore. Why should you give them more money?” the Bench said.

“The money is not spent by the States and the sufferers are the homeless people. How can you ensure that the money is spent? It should not be diverted as the money has been given for a specific purpose,” the court said.

During the hearing, Mr. Kumar told the Bench that the Centre was contributing 60% of the funds for the scheme, while the remaining amount was borne by the States. For Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern States, the ratio was 90% by the Centre and 10% by the States.

The court fixed the matter for hearing on October 13.

The apex court last year slammed the Centre and State governments for their lackadaisical approach in providing shelters to the poverty-stricken in urban areas despite availability of sufficient funds.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:33:59 PM |

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