Maharashtra Public Accounts Committee urges for periodical disbursal of funds

Pune: With a view to bring in major changes in the process development funds are disbursed in Maharashtra, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the state legislature has directed the state government to take immediate modifications.

It was told by a senior official from the department that periodical disbursal of funds will be considered with proper auditing as the departments were making last minute withdrawals instead of doing it periodically. They were also peeved with the department officials for not showing timely audit records for the works completed.

In the beginning of the this week, a meeting was held in which, concerned officials stated that the PAC, which has a strength of 22 legislators, raised concern relating to indiscipline around the income and expenditure side of government finances.

State planning department officials immediately agreed to the demands and have decided to put in place a system which monitors periodic release of funds. These reforms were essential and the PAC demands have been conceded to and there is an urgent need to change the way the government departments are spending and this has been done haphazardly, stated the official.

“There could have been misuse and diversion of funds as the State government and was yet to receive 38,884 utilisation certificates (UCs) as of December 2017.

The certificates help the accounts departments determine if the funds were used for the purpose they were sanctioned for. The CAG had also pointed out that of a total of Rs 322 crore drawn through contingent bills, nearly 66% or Rs 213 crore, was drawn on the last day of financial year 2016-2017. The significant withdrawal on the last day indicates it was primarily to exhaust the budget provision and reveals inadequate budgetary control, the CAG stated in their report.

Officials have stated that the PAC members have stated that the departments do not take necessary efforts to withdraw the amounts on time and are lax and don’t assign reasons to audits. The PAC members are also peeved that even after raising queries regarding various departments they have not got response from several departments.

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