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AAP Alleges ‘Misappropriation’ of Rs 10,000 cr Funds by J&K Govt

Anees Zargar |
The allegations are being levelled after a CAG report recently took note of the underutilisation of budget by the UT administration.
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File Photo.

Srinagar: The Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Wednesday called for an investigation against the UT administration following the observations made in the latest Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report regarding the non-submission of utilisation certificates for over Rs 10,000 crores.

"We are calling for a thorough investigation as there are apprehensions of misappropriation of funds. The public has a right to know where Rs 10,000 crore have gone," Jammu-based AAP leader Taranjit Singh Tony said.

The AAP alleged that attempts were being made to brush the observations made by the CAG under the carpet. Therefore, the party said it is essential that a free and thorough investigation must be undertaken.

The demand from the AAP comes after CAG, in its 162-page report, observed that the "overall utilisation of budget was 27 per cent less than the total amount of grants and appropriations during the year 2020-21."

According to the report released earlier on Monday, 3,215 Utilisation Certificates (UC) for grants paid up to September 30, 2019, amounting to Rs 10,076.58 crore, were outstanding up to March 31, 2021.

"We demand that heads must roll of those bureaucrats if they are found guilty. Had it been in the case of any opposition party, we would have witnessed all enforcement agencies like Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carrying out raids," Tony told NewsClick.

The CAG report, in one of its observations, stated that budgetary allocations were based on "unrealistic proposals". It also mentioned that non-submission of the UCs means that the authorities have not explained how funds were spent over the years.

“There is also no assurance that the intended objectives of providing these funds have been achieved. This assumes greater importance if such UCs are pending against Grants-in-Aid meant for capital expenditure,” the report said.

"Since non-submission of UCs is fraught with the risk of misappropriation, it is imperative that the Government should monitor this aspect closely and hold the concerned persons accountable for submission of UCs in a timely manner," the report said.

The AAP leader argued that on the one hand, there are daily wage workers in Jammu and Kashmir, who have not received their salaries, and await their job confirmation, but on the other hand, there is no trace of Rs 10,000 crores. "The investigative agencies have arrested people on much smaller amounts, and it is their responsibility to investigate this matter so that people are informed about the government they have elected," he said.

Meanwhile, the CAG report also observed that the UT government “needs to take an early decision regarding commencement of liquidation process in respect of the inactive PSUs as they are neither contributing to economy nor meeting the objectives for which they were set up.”

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