From A Correspondent
Agartala, April 23: All the Block Development Officers in Tripura are tensed following an instruction issued by their concerned district magistrates to keep ready 11 documents for producing before a team likely to visit their block shortly to audit the MGNREGA spending during last nine years.
The instructions were issued following appointment of a Kolkata based audit firm Mitra, Roy & Datta to audit the expenditures in MGNREGA project from the year 2006-07 to 2015-16.
Earlier the Tripura High Court disposing a Public Interest Litigation had ordered the state government to appoint an audit firm to audit the MGNREGA expenditures within two months and to complete the audit by eight months from the date of their appointment.
It is learnt that the auditors of the firm visited some of the blocks including Jirania block in West Tripdura district only to find that the BDOs are not in a position to produce the necessary documents including the annual fincial statements for audit.
Receiving report from them the state government landed in an embarrassing position and sent instructions to the blocks through the District Magistrates to keep 11 documents ready and to produce before the auditors as and when demanded.
Apart from the annual fincial report the other documents they have been asked to keep ready includes Year wise fincial receipt and expenditure accounts, Cash Book, General Ledger and breakup of head wise expenditure, Master role, Bank statement, Bank reconciliation statement, payment voucher, measurement book, employment register, proof of work performance etc.
The instructions from the DM have landed the BDO’s in a difficult situation as none of the documents were properly maintained during all these years. The state government inclined to score highest point in the country in implementation of MGNREGA never asked for all this essential things and remained satisfied only with expenditure and performance reports.
The BDOs are in a tricky situation as they are now finding that none of these documents were ever maintained or not maintained in a proper way. In some cases the reports sent to the government were purported and not based on facts. What made the thing more worse is that most of the BDOs and employees of the block who actually implemented the work in those days have either transferred or gone on superannuation and the new comers are finding it difficult to find out the necessary papers.
The Congress MLA Ratan Lal th who is always vocal in demanding thorough investigation over the MGNREGA expenditures said there are lots of cases where the concerned people have withdrawn money but never gave adjustments. In few cases they returned the money and no action was taken against them. ‘If a proper audit is allowed to be conducted many more corruptions will come into light and afraid that the centre may discontinue the MGNREGA project in Tripura’, he said adding that the Left Front government will remain solely responsible for any such eventuality.