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CAG raps environment ministry over ‘illegal’ appointments

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Date:Sep 7, 2013

Central Pollution Control Board created or upgraded posts without approval of finance ministry

logoThe Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in a report has rapped the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for not exercising control over units under its administrative jurisdiction. The report, which appraises the performance of nine scientific and environmental ministries or departments, was presented to Parliament on Friday.

MoEF and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have also been assessed in the report. CAG has pointed out that CPCB created and upgraded posts in violation of the orders of Union Ministry of Finance (MoF) (see table). To illustrate, between December 1994 and January 2009, 62 posts were created without finance ministry’s approval.

MoEF informed that in 1988 MoF lifted the ban on scientific posts in MoEF but CAG has not accepted this argument since all of the 62 posts were non-scientific. Similarly, CPCB created 55 posts between September 1994 and June 2003 without MoF approval. MoEF clarified there was a view that CPCB is competent to create all these posts under Rule 8 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975. CAG has not accepted this clarification either.    

Posts created and upgraded
Violation Period during which posts were created Number of posts Annual financial implication
(in Rs lakh)

Posts created without MoF approval

December 1994-January 2009

62 146.66

September 1994-June 2003

55 83.92

Temporary posts created but not abolished

March 1996

10 91.36

Irregular upgradation of posts

July 1996-
December 2006

47  

Irregular continuance of ad-hoc appointments and promotions without approval

March 1996-January 2009

35  

127 unsanctioned posts

Then there are the temporary posts, which were never discontinued. MoEF informed that these posts were converted into permanent ones in January 2010. CAG has dismissed this clarification stating that this is related to reframing terms and conditions for group A officials and not with conversion of temporary into permanent positions. Thus, CPCB created 127 posts and upgraded 47 posts without MoF approval in the past 15 years. In addition, MoEF unauthorisedly approved upgradation of 16 posts.

Loss incurred

The report notes that CPCB also violated guidelines on ad-hoc appointments and promotions in 35 instances. CAG estimates that all this has led to a loss of Rs 3.22 crore per annum for the exchequer. CAG report states that repeated breach of delegation of powers by CPCB indicates lack of control and monitoring by MoEF.
Of the 603 sanctioned posts in CPCB, 441 are filled while 11 are ad-hoc appointments, 72 are vacant while 79 are awaiting renewal or approval.

 
 

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