CAG: Kejriwal's Delhi government has untracked funds of Rs. 7,270cr
In an amusing paradox, anti-corruption proponent AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal now finds himself cornered. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has flagged irregularities in the financial administration of Delhi, including untracked funds to the tune of Rs. 7,270cr. On his part, Kejriwal promised "exemplary action" and said that at least 50 cases will be sent for CBI investigation. Here's more.
What did the CAG's report highlight?
The CAG's important findings were tabled by the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in the Assembly on Tuesday. Apart from incidences of corruption and irregularities, it said that despite "tall claims" on health, the services weren't functioning properly. There was lack of equipments and personnel.
'Not a single toilet constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission'
CAG's report said not a single toilet was constructed in Delhi since the Swachh Bharat Mission began. It added that the implementing agencies, including Municipal Corporations of Delhi and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, received funds worth Rs. 40.31cr, but they remained "unutilized." It contended, most homes known for lack of toilet facilities, like unauthorized colonies, were excluded at the planning stage itself.
'Government's PDS system is riddled with corruption'
The auditor also found corruption in the government's public distribution system. He stated that 792 ration shop license-holders were enjoying subsidized food-grains, which were actually for the poor. Kejriwal's government blamed the Lieutenant Governor for stalling the "doorstep delivery" of foodgrains scheme. They argued that this would have cracked down on the "ration mafia." The CM lamented, "The mafia is protected by political masters."
Apart from irregularities, CAG highlights cases of inaction and oversight
According to the report, the government till March'17 failed to collect 3,105 utilization certificates for Rs. 7,270cr released in grants. Notably, funds are considered officially spent only after all the work is completed and project managers send back "utilization certificates" about how they spent the cash. Further, rural development department's laxity about land lease allotment to MCD led to non-recovery of around Rs. 67cr.
Obviously, Kejriwal's government came in for heavy criticism
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the CAG report "exposed" the AAP government's claims regarding health and education sectors and its inattentiveness to Delhi's development. Opposition leader Vijender Gupta slammed the government for not being serious about its budget estimates and expenditures.