CAG finds fault with info, finance depts on IFFI expenditure

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Panaji, Aug 19 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has found fault with the department of Information and Publicity for incurring Rs 1.83 crore of avoidable/unfruitful expenditure on advertisements in Goan media for the International Film Festival of India in 2005 and 2006.

It had also censured the state finance department for incurring Rs 1.45 crore ''unfruitful expenditure'' on construction of a new Jetty in October 2006 at Kala Academy, the venue of IFFI.

The jetty could not be used due to reduction of its length, which was an outcome of disregarding the expert advice on depth requirement given by the Captain of Ports.

''No vessel of the size of Noah's Ark could be berthed at the jetty and the dignitaries were brought to the venue in a small vessel, which could have been berthed by the old jetty,'' the report said.

Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today presented copies of the CAG report on the table of the Goa Legislative Assembly immediately after Question Hour.

Though Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) was entrusted with the task of organising IFFI and handling the media campaign, the DIP had simultaneously incurred the ''unnecessary'' expenditure on advertisements, the CAG noted in its report for the year ended on March 31, 2007.

''The department stated that the advertisements were created to showcase the development of Goa. The reply is not tenable as the advertisements worth Rs 60,92 lakh were related to opening and closing ceremonies and interim happenings of IFFI-2005. The event management agency engaged by the ESG had carried out advertisements in local and national dailies,'' the report pointed out.

Undertaking additional advertisements by the department in Hindustan Times and local newspapers was unnecessary and put extra burden on public exchequer to the extent of Rs 1.20 crore for IFFI-2005, it added.

''The department also did not resort to tendering before engaging the advertising agencies,'' the report noted.

The same was the case for IFFI-2006 and the reasoning advanced by the department at the time of accepting the proposal of empanelled agency Magnum Intergrafiks was an afterthought and amounted to extending an undue favour to the agency, the report said.

UNI BM SR PK AS1905

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