Embezzlement, unnecessary expenditure losses high in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Mar 12 (UNI) The audit of financial transactions in various departments of the Punjab government and their field formations revealed instances of embezzlement of government money, losses and unfruitful expenditure and forefeiture of Central assistance.

The combined losses due to embezzlement of money, losses and unnecessary expenditure was Rs 88.71 crore, according to report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) for the year ending March 31 last year, which was presented in the state Assembly today.

According to the report here were instances of suspected fraud of government money to the tune of Rs 16.62 lakh in Animal Husbandry Department. Loss due to wrong fixation of price for allotment of plots in Agriculture Department was Rs 53.45 lakh and irregular disbursement of calamity relief fund in Revenue Department was Rs 2.50 crore.

There were cases of overpayment/avoidable payment and unfruitful expenditure in the Departments of Irrigation and Power to tune of Rs 1.93 crore and in the Health and Family Welfare department this figure stood at Rs 2.57 crore.

There were caes of undue financial and avoidable expenditure in Departments of Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads) ( Rs 16.03 crore), Housing and Urban Development (Rs 1.25 crore) and Irrigation and Power (44.27 lakh).

There were cases of loss of Central assistance in the departments of Water Supply and Sanitation, Science and Technology and Revenue amounting to Rs 47 crore, idle investment/blockage of government money in the Departments of Irrigation and Power ( Rs 5.01 crore), Finance ( Rs 2 crore), Home ( Rs 1.14 crore), Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums (Rs 2.36 crore) and Health and Family Welfare (Rs 83.17 lakh).

There was case of non-levy of Rs 4.94 crore of departmental charges in Agriculture Department, according to the report.

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