Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 31:
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), presented in the State Assembly on June 28, has criticized the Odisha government for its gross failure to utilise the funds under the Centrally-sponsored Security-Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme between 2009 and 2012.
The SRE scheme, launched by the Centre in 1996 and revised in February 2005, is being implemented in nine vulnerable districts of Odisha to effectively deal with the Maoist menace by way of reimbursing expenditure incurred by the State on such security-related activities.
However, the state government had provided SRE funds from the State Budget on the basis of the proposed annual action plan prepared by the state Home department and submitted to the Centre for approval.
Instead of waiting for the Centre’s approval, the expenditure was incurred through the State Budget and the Home department claimed reimbursement under the scheme from the Centre against the spending by the drawing and disbursing officers, the CAG pointed out.
The report has also revealed that as per the audit report during 2009-10 and 2011-12, the state government failed to utilize 26 percent of the budgetary amount in 2009-10, 28 per cent in 2010-11 and 55 per cent in 2011-12.
It also said that the state government, apart from failing to utilize the funds, had made an additional provision of Rs 13.91 crore in its Supplementary Budget for 2011-12 which was also surrendered along with savings of Rs 73.78 crore during the year.
It pointed out that the state government had also, in violation of the SRE provisions, incurred expenditure on office equipments and establishment expenses of the training institutes meant for the Special Operation Group (SOG) deployed to curb Maoist activities.
During 2012, the government had spent Rs 5.19 crore in gross violation of the Central guidelines. Besides, the Centre had disallowed Rs 15.60 crore due to incurring of expenditure on inadmissible items during 2009 -2012, the report said.
Improper handling of the budget allocations, advance release of funds to the executing agency and delayed payment of rehabilitation packages to the surrendered Maoists, have rendered SRE scheme ineffective, it pointed out.