Guwahati: After multi-crore rupees scam in North Cachar Hills Council, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, which conducted special audit of Bodoland Territorial Council, has now unearthed a scam and misappropriation of more than Rs. 200 crore in another autonomous council of Assam.
The CAG in its report, which was tabled before the council recently, has found that fund sent by central government through North East Council (NEC) and Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-plan was virtually going to drain.
The report pointed out as to how the chief of Bodoland Territorial Council incurred unathorised expenditure of Rs. 180.33 crore during 2010-11 to 2013-14. The BTC chief carried out these unautrhorised expenditure as “Chief’s Discretionary” activity whereas no such power or authority has been delegated to the BTC chief, the CAG report said.
The CAG report found that BTC under supplementary nutrition programme of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) procured Britannia Marie Gold biscuit at the cost of Rs. 45 per packet, which was almost double to the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of Rs 27. The BTC procured school bags at the rate of Rs. 556 each, much higher than the prevailing market price. The BTC also procured 824 piece of HP Laser Jet P-1108 printer at the rate of Rs 11950 each whereas the MRP printed on these printers was of Rs. 6599 only.
The BTC chief also distributed tractors to beneficiaries but CAG in its audit found that in the District Transport Office (DTO) these registration numbers of tractors were of Motorcycle, Travera and Tata Indica cars.
The CAG referred two separate instances in which registration number of these tractors bore DTO code AS-40, which has not been allotted to Assam. The CAG found 40 such instances of fraudulent payment against the registration numbers of vehicles other than tractor whereas it also discovered 12 instances in which the names of owners of tractors were found to be different from those registered with DTO.
Pointing out that BTC also diverted fund for Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Class (WPT and BC) for implementing the schemes on animal husbandry activities to procure tent house at exorbitant prices. The Government of India had laid down norms for utilizing these funds that tribal populace below the poverty line (BPL) should alone be supported with this fund but CAG could not find any record in this regard to ascertain the actual beneficiary.
Apart from unearthing glaring instances of fund embezzlements by officers in various departments, the CAG in its report has found a large number of wasteful expenditure in the BTC, which indicate towards a nexus between the BTC members, suppliers and contractors.
Though, the BTC has been given administrative control of various department, the CAG in its report said, “There is no system for verification and monitoring of collected of revenue, expenditure incurred on execution of works, implementation of schemes etc.”
It also pointed out that they found that in some cases the specifications of articles procured were neither specified in supply order nor recorded in files. The CAG, which was asked for special audit of the BTC account, found that council did not maintain actual payees receipt for distribution articles procured. It is significant that BTC is ruled by Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) now in alliance with BJP in Assam. Earlier, the BPF had an alliance with Congress too....