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CAG slams Delhi Government over advertisements spend

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New Delhi, July 06: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) today slammed the Delhi Government for high spending on advertisements.

The CAG said due to the non-routing of classified advertisements by five state corporations through their administrative departments, an excess expenditure of Rs 1.10 crore was incurred as they could not avail of the DAVP rates, which were lower than the commercial charges.

CAG slams Delhi Government over advertisements spend

"As the DIP did not make available all files requisitioned during the audit, a comprehensive evaluation of the expenditure on advertisements and publicity by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) was not possible," India Today reported quoting CAG.

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"It was observed that the five selected PSUs were publishing classified advertisements at commercial rates (through empanelled advertising agencies) instead of routing these through their respective administrative departments to Shabdarth (society set up in 2015 to function as an ad agency for the government) for publication at non-commercial rates/DAVP rates. This resulted in excess expenditure of Rs 1.10 crore in 81 cases test-checked (out of 196 cases)," the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General said.

It, however, mentioned that the Delhi government was able to maintain the revenue surplus largely because the pension liabilities of its employees were being borne by the central government and the Delhi Police's expenditure was borne by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the numbers were the "biggest proof of its honesty".

"This is the CAG report. It says the Delhi government is running in profit since AAP came to power. This is the biggest proof of honesty of AAP. This honesty has deprived our opponents of their sleep," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the AAP government has been able to keep the national capital a revenue surplus state because of "honest politics".

"This is the 'Kejriwal Model of governance'. When every state government is facing a huge revenue deficit, it's only and only the Arvind Kejriwal government that is in running revenue surplus since 2015. Honest politics brings prosperity," he tweeted.

CAG report shows Delhi has revenue surplus; Arvind Kejriwal calls it 'Biggest proof of honesty'CAG report shows Delhi has revenue surplus; Arvind Kejriwal calls it 'Biggest proof of honesty'

The revenue surplus of the Delhi government in 2019-20 was Rs 7,499 crore, indicating that its revenue receipts were sufficient to meet the revenue expenditure, the report said.

The CAG report, 2021, on state finances for the year ended March 2020 was presented in the Assembly session by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The audit report on state finances provides an analytical review of the annual accounts of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the functioning of the Public Sector Undertakings for the year ended March 31, 2020.

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