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Misappropriation of funds by ZP: CAG

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 1: Apart from other aspects, the CAG has also caught Golaghat Zila Parishad on the wrong foot on compliance audit of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
In its report on local bodies for the year ended on March 31, 2016, the CAG said: “An amount of Rs 16.63 lakh received from different lessees was not deposited in the Government account by the accountant of Golaghat Zila Parishad (ZP). Failure on the part of the CEO, Golaghat ZP to monitor the deposits of cash resulted in the probable misappropriation of Rs 16.63 lakh by the accountant.”
Rule 14 of the Assam Panchayat (Fincial) Rules, 2002 envisages that all receipts due to the zila parishad shall be collected by an officer or any person authorized by zila parishad and the amount collected shall be handed over to the cashier or any other official authorized for the purpose through the accountant. All such receipts shall be entered in the cash book on that very date and shall be authenticated by the drawing and disbursing officer (DDO) concerned, with his dated initial. Rule 95 of the Assam Fincial Rules provides that the DDO is persolly responsible for accounting all money received and disbursed and for the safe custody of cash.
However, the scrutiny of November-December 2015 records of Golaghat ZP, according to the CAG report, revealed that though there was provision in the receipts for sigture and counter sigture by the cashier and the accountant respectively, both these columns were unsigned in the receipts. In the space provided for the sigture of the CEO, the accountant had signed on his behalf. Moreover, references to the cash book entries had also not been recorded on the body of the received.
Detailed scrutiny of receipts further revealed that, in 42 instances, during the period from September 2012 to February 2015, revenues received from different lessees, had either not been entered in the cash book or amounts less than the actual receipts had been entered. According to the CAG report, out of Rs 42.39 lakh collected from lessees only Rs 25.76 lakh was deposited in the bank. The remaining Rs 16.63 lakh received from lessees, was neither deposited in the bank, nor recorded in the cash book by the accountant.
The present CEO, Golaghat ZP, said that the reply would be furnished after verification. Short deposit was pointed out by the CAG in December 2015; but no action against the accountant was initiated till January 31, 2016 when he superannuated.

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