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CAG unhappy over unspent grants for Forest projects

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 28: Projects relating to forest and evironment might be crying for more funds, but the Ministry concerned has not found use for a large part of the grants given to it for the purposes.

It has left unutilised a large amount of the grants for its various projects, for which its has been castigated by the Comproller and Auditor General in its annual report.

The CAG has found that there were persistent unspent provisions during the last three years. The amount of unspent money increased from Rs 71.40 crore to Rs 153.17 crore in the last financial year.

Moreover, the Ministry failed to furnish certificates of utilisation of grants, which is done to ensure that the grant had been utilised properly and also to ensure that the prescribed conditions were fulfilled in cases where the grants were released with certain conditions.

Scrutiny of records revealed that utilisation certificates worth Rs 849.21 crore were outstanding for grants released up to 2003-2004.

In the absence of utilisation certificate, it could not be ascertained if the grants were actually utilised for the purpose for which they were sanctioned, the Report said.

The Ministry was also found to be resorting to unrealistic budgeting. In many cases 51 to 100 per cent of the provisions remained unutilised and were re-appropriated to other heads defeating the purpose for which the original budget provisions were passed by Parlaiment.

The CAG has also found fault with internal audit of the Ministry.

There are 35 units under the Internal Audit of the Units under the jurisdiction of Internal Audit Wing, but only 18 units had been inspected during the last three years.

''Keeping in view the large amount of funds handled by the Ministry and its range of activities, there is an urgent need to establish and make the internal audit system effective for keeping a watch over the quantum, flow, regularity, propriety and economy of expenditure,'' the CAG said.


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