Gujarat assembly panel raps two PSUs for financial indiscipline

The Public Enterprise Committee pointed out several flaws in the functioning of Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd and Gujarat State Financial Corporation.

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Gandhinagar, Mar 2: A Gujarat Assembly committee, which monitors state's Public Sector Undertakings, has criticised two PSUs for financial indiscipline and not taking action against employees for lackadaisical approach.

In a report tabled in the Assembly today, the Public Enterprise Committee pointed out several flaws in the functioning of Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd and Gujarat State Financial Corporation. In its scrutiny report on GSFS, which was based on the CAG findings for 2008-2009 and subsequent explanations given by the PSU, the committee raised objection over "diversion of funds" for renovating the company's office in Gandhinagar.

Gujarat assembly panel raps two PSUs for financial indiscipline

The House panel noted such financial indiscipline should not be tolerated. "Such extra-budgetary expenditure does not seem legitimate by any means. If at all the PSU wants to do renovation, then it has to make a provision in the state Budget as a new item. Violation of budgetary discipline is not appropriate for a PSU which itself prepares the state Budget."

"If government starts approving such expenditure, other PSUs will follow suit. In such a scenario, you will be left with no funds. We feel such diversion of funds must be stopped. We advise the government to strictly inform all PSUs to refrain from this activity of fund diversion in future," said the committee report.

The panel slammed GSFC for not taking timely action against employees showing lackadaisical approach as well as those found to be involved in financial irregularities and embezzlement. The committee asked the PSU to take disciplinary action against employees who have not done enough to find out files missing for almost five years. It its reply, the PSU said action was not possible in the matter now as most of these employees and officials have already retired.

"Showing lack of interest in taking action is like disrespecting the recommendations of this committee. We recommend this PSU to do the needful to fix responsibilities." It urged the government to issue a common guideline for all PSUs so that they take punitive action against employees found to be involved in financial irregularities or embezzlement.

"Ideally, PSUs should take action against employees as soon as the audit report finds them guilty. The Government should make it clear in its guideline that retired officials will also face action if found guilty," said the report. The 14-member committee, having members from both ruling BJP and Opposition Congress, is headed by former Cabinet Minister and senior BJP MLA Narottam Patel.

The panel scrutinises the observations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General on PSUs and submits recommendations to the Government.

PTI

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