CAG Report Exposes Tall Claims Made By Jharkhand Government

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According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the FY 2009-10, Jharkhand Government has again failed miserably on various counts of good-governance.

Comptroller and Auditor General
Comptroller and Auditor General

Sairat Revenue Loss of Rs. 291.02 crores

The CAG Report also reported that Jharkhand Land Revenue Department lackadaisical attitude towards the ‘sairat’ revenue, the non-collection of said revenue from the mining companies during the four-year period from 2004-2009 has cost Jharkhand, a revenue-loss of Rs. 291.02 crores. The Government failed to settle the sairat-revenue with the coal mining companies of the state.

What is ‘sairat’ revenue? Sairat is a type of land revenue, which is applied on the by-products of coal companies, namely, sludge or slurry. When coal is washed with water and chemicals, we get fluid, which contains fine particles of coal and other minerals; these fluids are called sludge or slurry. The coal companies, in this case Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) and Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), collect these sludge or slurry and sell them off to the interested buyers. During the Unified Bihar days, sairat-revenue was settled between Government and the Mining companies according to the provisions of the Bihar Estate (Khas Mahal) manual.

On this issue, the CAG report said, “The concerned department was unaware of the settlement of sludge or slurry as sairat-revenue. This resulted in revenue loss to the Jharkhand Government.” The CAG recommended that the government may issue direction to the department to ensure settlement of sludge or slurry as sairat to avoid further loss.

Lease Rent Revenue Loss of Rs. 341.36 crores

Again in another case, CAG has reported that Jharkhand Government lost Rs. 341.36 crores on account of encroachment of land of erstwhile Tata Lease area in Jamshedpur. This loss is due to the revenue-leakage in the form of rent of Rs. 341.36 crore during the period from 1996 to 2009.

It is said that at the time of renewing the lease license of Tata in 2005, a very large chunk of land (slightly less than 2000 acres) was kept out of the lease renewal ambit. However, around 1111.40 acres of land is occupied by 17986 buildings, while 675.85 acres of land is covered by roads, drains, barren lands, graveyards, playgrounds, religious places, schools, etc. This entire area was excluded from the scope of lease to Tata, however Jharkhand Government failed to take any steps to evict the encroachers and allowing people to illegally occupy the land.

We are not really sure whether this revenue-loss occurred due to either the indifferent attitude or the ignorance on the part of concerned departments. Nevertheless, we can state this that in Jharkhand the guilty ministers and officials would again go unpunished in these cases of very high revenue loss of more than Rs. 500 crores.

Surrendered Rs.2581.88 crores of Development Funds

In the third case, the State Finance Audit Reports stated that out of total provisions of Rs. 3029.69 crores in respect of various government schemes, Jharkhand Government ended up surrendering Rs. 2581.88 crore, a whopping 85% of the funds. In other words, it means that the Government could utilize only 15% of developmental funds in the entire year. It was further stated that in 48 government schemes, Jharkhand Government surrendered 100% of the funds. It means, Jharkhand Government could not even implement the 48 government welfare schemes. Very poor utilizing the developmental funds due to either the non-implementation or the tardy pace of implementation of various government schemes; as a result, major chunk of these funds were surrendered by the state government.

Then, these political leaders in very loud voices demand granting of special status to Jharkhand that means demanding more funds from Union Government. Isn’t this a farce?

Over 50% of MG-NREGA Scheme Incomplete

On Mahatma Gandhi-National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MG-NREGA), CAG has highlighted the poor execution of the scheme. In 2009-10, only 47% of the scheme was completed and only 70% of the available funds were utilized by the Jharkhand Government.

  • Out of a total 160,813 schemes only 75,767 schemes completed at the end of financial year 2009-10,
  • Out of a total available funds of Rs 1916.29 crore only Rs 1379.70 crore was spent.
  • Rs 188.05 crore was released in the last month (March’10) of the financial year which affected the progress of the schemes.

More Than 70% of Indira Awas Yojana Scheme Incomplete

According to CAG Report on Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) Scheme, in 2009-10, only 30% of the scheme was completed, while only 61% of available funds were used.

  • Under Indira Awas Yojana , only 94032 out of a total of 303684 schemes were  completed in 2009-10.
  • Only Rs 398.08 crore out of Rs 647.12 crore were spent under these schemes,

CAG report said that non-achievement of targets had deprived people residing below the poverty line of the intended benefits despite the availability of funds for MG-NREGA and IAY schemes.

Our Jharkhandi Politicians only talk, talk, talk, talk……but do very little actual work for the poverty-stricken people who really need the help.

Tourism Department flouted well-established government norms

According CAG Report, the Jharkhand Tourism Department flouted the well-establish government norms and even bypassed the cabinet.

  • Films on the same themes were ordered by the department in January 2009 to encourage, promote and attract tourism and investments in the state at a much higher cost of Rs 75.84 lakh each.
  • The department had paid Rs 18.91 lakh in August, 2009 to the film-making media house and fixed the date of submission of the final script, the rough cut and the final cut of the films between June and October 2009, but the films were not ready as of May 2010.
  • Rs 3.15 crore was withdrawn in March 2009 from the treasury and subsequently kept (March 2009) in the personal deposit account of the Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC), Ranchi. An unspent amount of Rs 2.96 crore was still lying in June 2010 in the said account, thus the purpose of the government of promoting tourism through these films was defeated as the funds remained blocked.
  • CAG criticized the department for fixation of unjustifiable criterion for selection of bidders, award of work at much higher cost to the tenderer (bidder) and non-utilisation of funds creating avoidable liability of Rs 2.63 crore and loss of interest of Rs 27.70 lakh.
  • CAG has reported that there was a violation of bypassing the cabinet while placing order to produce theme films for the Jharkhand tourism department in 2008-09.
  • The order was placed with the approval of the minister concerned, violating the existing provision of placing of orders beyond Rs. 5 crore with the approval of the cabinet. However, the value and scope of the order was subsequently modified in March 2009 to Rs 3.15 crore for four theme films only due to curtailment in the plan allocation of the department during the period of 2009-10. It was noticed that the then tourism department secretary in his note dated February, 2009 to the minister, allegedly did not mention the requirement of the cabinet approval for orders beyond Rs. 5 crore.
  • Further scrutiny of the records of tourism department between April and May 2010 revealed, films made in 2004-05 on Parasnath and Eco Tourism of 15-20 minutes duration each by a private media house, had cost Rs 3.25 lakh and Rs 3.45 lakh respectively.

The rumors in the corridors of power in Jharkhand has is that such tender files and purchase-order files move very fast across the desks.

We do not really know whether to believe these grapevines?

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Sameer Bhagat

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Social-Activist. Author of SALVAGING ADIDWEEP.


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