CAG says procurement of 26 patrol boats has been 'unfruitful'

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries for failing to monitor and carry out mid-course correction, rendering the Rs 25 crore spent on procurement of 26 patrol boats unfruitful.

In a report, the CAG said the scheme had failed to achieve its objective due to poor implementation by the state government and lack of effective oversight by the ministry.

Audit scrutiny revealed that the Centrally-sponsored 'Enforcement of Marine Fishing Regulation Act and Introduction of Artificial Reefs Sea Farming' scheme could not be implemented and the intended objectives left unachieved despite making the investment on procurement of the patrol boats for patrolling of the exclusive fishing zones.

It recommended that the Agriculture Ministry review the implementation of the scheme in consultation with the state governments to remove the bottlenecks and achieve the aims of the Marine Fishing Regulation Act.

"Out of eight participating states, only Kerala and Tamil Nadu had agreed to bear the cost of operation and maintenance of patrol boats," the CAG said in its report, adding that despite this a sum of Rs 14.30 crore was released for construction of 15 patrol boats to the six other states without considering this.

Many states demanded assistance to meet the operation and maintenance expenditure of the patrol boats by the state governments.

In fact, three patrol boats were not constructed at all by the Karnataka and Kerala governments.

Fifteen boats were idling after construction or were unutilised or were being utilised for purposes other than surveillance.

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