Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Accused of Financial Indiscretion

CAG charges KAAC of financial irregularity

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the fiscal indiscretion committed by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council during the financial year 2011 has drawn sharp criticism from the CAG.

The pecuniary authority of the nation has charged KAAC with non reconciliation, not registering receipt of revenue, retention of cash instead of depositing it in treasury. Thus turning the amount into unaccounted money, unauthorized diversion of funds, deficits from funds meant for specific scheme, opening of bank accounts illegally and dumping huge amount of departmental funds in it.

The CAG report has pointed out that the KAAC received an amount of Rs. 21.30 crore as grant in aid from the state government in 2010-11 for specific as per the norms of sixth scheduled area; KAAC while going out of its way spent Rs. 47.3 crore. The deficit of Rs. 25.53 was met by diverting from another state government fund.

Again the CAG report has mentioned that in the same financial year state government released Rs. 567.93 crore for meeting the requirements of departments entrusted with the KAAC but the KAAC spent Rs. 605.52 crores through various departmental officers having financial power. In this case also the KAAC meet the deficit by diverting an unspent subsidy kept deposited without executing certain specific project.

The CAG report has revealed that the KAAC’s PLA (Personal Ledger Account) account, cash book, treasury report and annual account does not synchronize and the irregularity is persisting since 1985- 86, CAG has accused KAAC of submitting mis-stated accounts which does not reflect actual affairs.

According to CAG almost every government departments under the administrative control of KAAC like NHM, P&RD, Social Welfare, Education, Food and Civil Supply etc. Rs.10. 36 crore rupees received through the office of the Deputy Commissioner Karbi Anglong for Mid Day Meal scheme was stashed in a savings account of Langpi Dehangi Rural Bank, Diphu without obtaining any approval from the KAAC Executive Committee. Moreover no record was made about the disbursement of the sum of money in annual account of KAAC, PLA or cash book of KAAC.

Another issue to which the CAG has pointed out is lack of imitative on the part of KAAC to increase its own revenue. The KAAC did its best to lose opportunity while inking an agreement between KAAC and Hindustan Paper Corporation on September 30, 2010 for allowing a concession of bamboo exploitation, KAAC did not bother to follow the enhanced rate of royalty fixed by the state government.

The KAAC awarded lease of entry tax gate, markets, wharf or quay etc to the leases at lower royalty then the preceding fiscal years incurring revenue loss almost consciously. The CAG has objected the KAAC revenue department’s practice of retaining cash drawn against proceeds without depositing in PLA, the department also does not maintain any receipt register from which details of receiving can be accounted.

Almost crores of rupees generated by the Cash branch of KAAC are not deposited in PLA of KAAC. This also shows how serious the KAAC authority is in generating revenue whose buzz word is “Inability in generating revenue from timber has decreased KAAC revenue.”

During the same fiscal year massive misuse of government fund took place in Health and Family Welfare department functioning under KAAC. Erroneous report of the then Joint Director of Health Service revelled that 71 items of surgical equipments worth Rs. 140.01 lakh obtained between July and August 2009 through most irregular manner. It has landed in another tight spot as the official record shows that out of 71 a total of 47 items worth 88.92 lakhs physically does not exist.

The Joint Director of Health Service purchased vitamin B Complex syrup @of Rs. 99.35 per 200ml bottle against government approved rate of Rs. 23.35 per 200ml bottle. The KAAC by not following government approved rate straight way incurred a loss of Rs. 11.29 lakhs.

Official record shown that this department has purchased medicines by paying higher value than the maximum retail price printed in the bottle. This graft caused the government a loss of Rs.12.32 lakhs. Although the CAG findings have not gone beyond 2011, cognisant section of people of Karbi Anglong feels that many harsh revelations are on the offing.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.