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CAG exposes Odisha govt’ s bungling on utilisation of funds in Agri sector

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, July 15:

The CAG, which had come down heavily on the Odisha government for showing undue favour to industries, has now caught it cheating on facts and figures.

The CAG report has pointed out glaring discrepancies in the agriculture department, which has furnished a Rs 143.80 crore utilisation certificate to the Centre while the amount remained unspent till March 2013.CAG

“Agriculture department after receipt of fund releases subsidy to the implementing agencies under various schemes. It was noticed that funds once released were treated as utilised by the department in most cases. On comparing expenditure reported with Utilisation Certificates (UCs) received by Director of Agriculture and Food Production (DAFP) from Agricultural Promotion Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL) and other district Agriculture Officers, it was noticed that Rs 143.80 crore remained unspent (March 2013) which was shown as spent in the reports sent to GoI,” said the report.

Surprisingly, the auditor said that no specific reply was received from Government on such inconsistent reporting.

“It has wider ramification. The fund might have been misappropriated or diverted. The department should give proper UC to the Government of India, ” said Amar Patnaik, Auditor General Odisha, while addressing a press conference on Monday.

The report also pointed out that the implementing agencies did not submit UCs to the department after payment of subsidies.

“APICOL and Bank (Bank of India) had received Rs 575.75 crore, but released only Rs 209.75 crore (36 per cent) during the year 2008-09 to 2012-13 and submitted UCs to the department. The balance amount remain unspent (March 2013),” said the report.

It was also noticed that UCs were pending for Rs 229.19 crore (81 per cent) under State Plan.

Under Work Plan, out of Rs 63.34 crore released, UCs were pending for Rs 26.32 crore (45 per cent).

Under RKVY, out of Rs 252.44 crore released, UCs for Rs 117.48 crore (48 per cent) were pending.

District offices in Agriculture Department received Rs 32.42 crore and released only Rs 2.57 crore during the period 2008-13. Balance amount of Rs 29.85 crore remained unspent until March 2013, the report pointed out.