CAG findings expose how Sheila Govt frittered away money and did nothing for people

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Sheila Dikshit (PTI photo)
Congress might be hoping for a comeback in Delhi Assembly polls but a recent Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report has once again revealed the mis-governance under Sheila Dikshit regime in the national capital. The civil watchdog's recent report tabled in the Parliament on Friday pointed out irregularities and lack of financial transparency in a number of Delhi government departments which resulted in loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer.

The CAG report has indicted the erstwhile Sheila government for spending Rs. 3,029.21 crore on regularisation of illegal colonies in Delhi but failed to provide the most basic of amenities, such as sewer and water lines, roads and drainage.

As per an India Today report, In 2009, the Delhi Development Authority had proposed to build 65,000 houses in a period of four years. But, only 22,000 got completed (approximately 30 per cent) while a mere 585 dwelling units have been occupied by as many families. Around 78 per cent of these houses were allotted for economically weaker economically weaker section and low-income groups.

Of the nearly 65,000 houses sanctioned by Sheila Govt only 22,000 got completed

"There are 32,000 houses yet to be completed in Capital and nearly 9,000 have not yet started,'' a report of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has confirmed.

The auditor - which randomly selected 91 colonies for scrutiny and examined 82 files provided by the urban development department - also pointed to discrepancies in land status report.

The CAG said that test check of the records of 96 units of departments of Trade & Taxes, State Excise, Transport, Entertainment, Luxury & Betting and Revenue conducted during the year 2012-13 showed under-assessment/short levy/loss of revenue aggregating to Rs 2,041.32 crore in 2238 cases.

"The concerned departments accepted under-assessment and other deficiencies of Rs 50.46 crore involved in 627 cases pointed out in audit during 2012-13 and earlier years. The departments recovered Rs 5.61 lakh in six cases during the year 2012-13," report said.

Observations in the CAG audit

The auditor's report reveals the government did no work but wasted public money. Here is what the report told the Parliament:

  • The urban development department released Rs. 3,666.81 crore during 2007-13 for providing basic services in unauthorised colonies. Of this, 3,029.21 crore was utilized.
  • Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) failed to discharge its duties to make Delhi slum-free.
  • Roads and drainage in JJ clusters in dilapidated condition. DUSIB failed to provide even basic facilities like public toilets.
  • No master plan in place for sewage system in the regularised colonies. Agencies concerned did not assess the impact of sewage flowing into storm water drains.
  • Loss of Rs 28 crore through non-levy of stamp duty.
  • Loss of Rs 1.44 crore incurred from tourism department's running of assembly canteen.
  • Rs 54 crore lost from unauthorised occupation of DTC staff quarters.
  • Government didn't initiate any new housing scheme for relocation of residents of jhuggi jhopri bastis.
  • State-run power generation firm delayed recovery of advance income tax which gave undue financial benefits to power discoms, Indraprastha Power Generation Company.
  • Functional condition of night shelters was not up to mark. Blankets were in unhygienic condition and lighting arrangement was not made in many night shelters.

Another blow to the Congress

The Congress is desperately trying to regain its lost grounds in the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi. But, these findings by the CAG will further deplete the already dampened credibility of the erstwhile Congress government in the minds of voters in Delhi. This will certainly hit the party's revival plans in the national capital which was also witnessing growing clamour from the state unit to bring Sheila Dikshit back into Delhi politics.

The auditor's reports will once again force the party leadership to search for some other face to project as the next chief ministerial candidate.

The CAG report highlights the gross misuse of power and funds by the erstwhile Congress government in Delhi. The government consistently made tall claims to woo voters from all sections but in reality it did little for their good. What raises one's ire is that Sheila government wasted money in every major sector like health, industries, tourism, transport, power, social welfare, education and civic works.

The Congress blamed the opposition BJP and AAP for bad mouthing the then government in Delhi but the CAG findings have only cemented the claims made by rival parties.

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