Comptroller and Auditor General's report shows Rs 7,900 crore outstanding advances for 'education for all' programme but absence of receipts made auditing tough
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has unearthed massive financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in various departments of Bihar government in the fiscal year 2012-2013. These have been highlighted in a report tabled in the monsoon session of Bihar Assembly on Tuesday.
The irregularities put a question mark on the state's demand for special status. Bihar government has been demanding Rs 20,000 crore from the Centre to overcome its backwardness. The state is not new to scams, the biggest of them being the infamous fodder scam involving two former chief ministers of the state.
One of the bigger scams highlighted in the CAG report totals Rs 433.94 crore and relates to the much-hyped innovative scheme of custom milled rice. Under the scheme, government was to get 67 quintals of rice against every 100 quintal paddy provided to rice millers. Millers were given remaining 23 quintals rice as fee for processing paddy.
Around 21.4 million quintals of paddy was provided to the rice mill owners. They were supposed to process the paddy and return to the government 14.34 million quintals of milled rice. But a whopping 2.56 million quintals of rice was not delivered by mill owners to the government. P K Singh, auditor general of Bihar, while addressing media persons, said, “many millers took free paddy from the government but did not provide even an ounce of rice in return.”
Insurance for crops never sown
Another Rs 152 crore was siphoned off through fake crop insurance claims. The cooperative department of the state government gave insurance to farmers who did not even sow any crop on their land. There were instances where crop insurance was given to owners who had barren land.
950,000 kids still denied schooling
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (education for all) scheme has proved to be the biggest white elephant that has reported outstanding advances of Rs 7,900 crore till the last fiscal year. “CAG is having a tough time in auditing the expenses of SSA as a large number of schools and district administration have no receipts of advance money,” Singh added.
The report noted that around 357 schools do not have a single teacher. Nearly 68 per cent of the schools still lack basic amenities like electricity, toilets, kitchen and playground. It also remarked that SSA has failed to fulfill the universal primary education mission as nearly 950,000 children are still not attending any school. Lack of planning and management has adversely affected the student teacher ratio that has increased to 59:1 from 53:1 in 2008-2009.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, reacting to the findings of the CAG report, said that the report will be discussed thoroughly and action will be taken against erring departments.
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