CAG slams MNF govt for idle expenditure

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Aizawl, Apr 8 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has slammed the Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front government for 'idle expenditure' of Rs 17.24 crore in the health and family welfare department.

According to the CAG report, laid recently in the Mizoram Assembly, failure of the department to take over 224 quarters constructed for the Falkawn Hospital Referral Hospital and procurment of equipment before completion of the hospital building resulted in an idle expenditure of Rs 17.24 crore.

The Falkawn referral hospital project was sanctioned by DoNER ministry at an estimated cost of Rs 40.53 crore in March 2000 and technical sanction accorded by CE of the state public works department (buildings) for Rs 38.60 crores, said the Auditor's report.

The health department refused to take over (from the PWD) the residential quarters constructed at a total cost of Rs 16.17 crore on grounds that it was not in a position to utilise the quarters as the whole project of the hospital was yet to be completed.

''However, the department could not explain why the quarters were constructed without first ascertaining and ensuring availability of adequate funds for completion of the whole project,'' the CAG pointed out, adding ''Thus the poor planning and injudicious decision of the department resulted in an expenditure of Rs 16.17 crore remaining idle and unproductive for a period of three to five years.'' Moreover, the Directorate of Health and Medical Education (DHME) purchased 16 equipment at a cost of Rs 1.7 crore, in pursuant to the sanction for the same during January and March 2005. The equipment were received during January November 2007, but were not installed, commissioned or used. Instead, they were kept idle in the Aizawl civil hospital, the CAG report said.

''The DHME claimed that the equipment were purchased to avoid lapse of funds released by the government of India, and assured that it would be utilised when the hospital is completed,'' the Auditor said.

Considering that the equipment was received over one, and in some cases, two years back, the warranty period had already expired. And there is also likelihood of the equipment not being in a working condition as there is no progress as yet towards completion of the hospital building, the report said.

UNI ZS PL SG HT1522

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