Punjab could not avail funds amounting to Rs 719.50 crore due to delay in submission of utilisation certificates to the Centre, according to a latest CAG report.
In a report tabled on the last day of the Punjab Assembly session, the government auditor said the 13th Finance Commission (TFC) in its report submitted on December 29, 2009, recommended release of Rs 5,510.27 crore under 22 grants including border areas, development of Kandi areas, heritage, police training, disaster relief for various schemes in Punjab.
To assess the optimisation of the grants received by Punjab government during 2010-15, an audit was conducted by test checking the records of the Finance Department and the administrative departments concerned in respect of eight grants, out of 22 grants under TFC.
The report on non-public sector undertakings for the period ending March 2015 said against the total allocation of Rs 5,510.27 crore under 22 grants recommended by TFC, the Punjab government could avail only Rs 4,886.95 crore (89 per cent) during 2010-15.
As regards with selected eight grants, against the allocation of Rs 3,466.80 crore recommended by TFC, the Punjab government availed only Rs 2,747.30 crore during 2010-15 and 21 per cent (Rs 719.50 crore) could not be availed due to delayed utilisation of funds and submission of utilisation certificates to the Centre and non-fulfillment of prescribed conditions for availing subsequent grants under TFC, it said.
Giving an example of shortcomings in utilisation of funds, the audit report, on the basis of examination of the records of Home Affairs and Police Department, said the first installment of Rs 50 crore was released to Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) after a delay of more than a year.
The amount was released for executing various works in piecemeal between December 2012 and September 2014 after a delay of more than a year which delayed the funds utilisation.
Further, out of third installment of Rs 50 crore received from Centre in February 2015, only Rs 35 crore was released to PPHC leaving Rs 15 crore unreleased, which adversely affected the works of upgrading training facilities for police personnel, report noted.
It said the Punjab Police DGP attributed the reasons for delayed funds release to non-clearance of bills by treasury.
In order to get fourth installment from the Centre, the state government submitted inflated utilisation certificate of Rs 135 crore whereas only Rs 50.24 crore were actually utilised as of July 2015.