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NRC Update Anomalies: AG exposes financial irregularities and impropriety

NRC

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The Office of Accountant General (Audit), in its Inspection Report submitted to the State Finance department, has exposed a series of financial irregularities and impropriety in the updating process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The NRC update, conducted by the Registrar General of India (RGI) from 2015 to 2019, is reported to have cost the exchequer about Rs 1600 crore.

The Inspection Report of the Accountant General has made certain key observations highlighting financial irregularities. As per the report, an amount of Rs 52,07,99,238 was released as Mobilization Advance to the Wipro Ltd which led to the loss of interest amounting to Rs 9,49,36,632.

Sources said as per agreement, the Wipro Ltd was supposed to set up the NRS Sewa Kendras (NSKs) on February 1, 2015. The Wipro Ltd failed to commission the NSKs within the stipulated deadline. No penalty was, however, imposed on the Wipro Ltd for the delay — resulting in loss of Rs 2.91 crore.

The Inspection Report has observed that the State NRC Coordinator procured original HP toner cartridges of two types amounting to Rs 3434.38 lakh for HP printer. The rate of procurement was, however, much higher to the ‘prodot’ toner cartridges being used in the office of State NRC Coordinator for the same HP printers. The said procurement was made without NIT (Notice Inviting Tender) and assessing/ascertaining actual requirement. Due to procurement of the HP toner cartridges instead of ‘ProDot’ toner cartridges, an extra financial burden of Rs 19,43,93,362 had been incurred.

The Accountant General’s office has also detected irregularities in development and maintenance of NRC Software Solution and setting up of 1500 NSKs by Wipro Ltd. The actual NSKs required were not assessed before NIT. Rise in the number of NSKs from 1500 to 2500 after selection of the sole bidder (Wipro Ltd) was unjustified, the report pointed out. The original offered bid value of Rs 196.65 crore was increased to Rs 232.10 crore. Thus awarding the work to the sole bidder without inviting fresh tender was not in order. The technical bid of the sole bidder scores only 73 per cent which indicated that the bidder was not technically fit.

According to the Inspection Report of the Accountant General, accepting the single bidder for the NRC update had resulted in not only delay in the completion of this project but also huge expenditure.

As per the report, the Wipro Ltd was supposed to install IT and non-IT infrastructures such laptop, camera, heavy duty scanner-cum-printer etc at NSKs as per specifications defined in the Request for Proposal (RFP) to the tune of Rs 39,06,96,021.52. However, no documents such as delivery and installation certificate, manufacture name, specification, warranty etc were furnished with their bills. Installation records, delivery challans of the laptops were also not found. Wipro failed to furnish detailed report on technical compliances of the external web camera etc.

The Accountant General Office had prepared the Inspection Report for the period in between April 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017. The Assam Government is now waiting for the final report from the Accountant General Office.

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