State departments violating fiscal responsibility and budget magement laws
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 10: It is well known that most of the State government departments in Assam fail to utilize Central funds properly and a major portion of the unutilized amount is kept as revenue deposit. But interestingly, some departments of the State government approve excess funds than the Central government’s budgetary allocation for some schemes.
Sources said some ministers in the State are approving excess funds more than the budgetary allocation for some schemes for their vested interests and a section of top government officials are also involved in this act. By approving excess funds, these ministers are also violating the Assam Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Magement (AFRBM) Act, 2005.
The AFRBM Act governs the implementation of schemes and their funding as per budget announcements.
Sources alleged that Rajib Lochan Pegu, former minister of the Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (WPT & BC) department, during his tenure, approved excess fund of Rs 76 crore for building roads in some SC people inhabited areas of the State under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP), violating the AFRBM Act. “When it came to the notice of the Public Works Department, it immediately stopped issuing work orders for road construction works taken up under the SCSP,” sources informed.
There are also allegations that Pegu and some officials of the department concerned, after having a secret understanding with a group of contractors, sanctioned the excess fund.
The Scheduled Caste Development department minister Basanta Das, after getting information about the approving of excess fund of Rs 76 crore by the former WPT & BC minister, said that tough action will be taken against such act. But no action has been taken in this regard till date.
Will the State government conduct an enquiry into such acts by ministers, which violates the AFRBM Act?