Panchayati Raj Institutions, Government of West Bengal

Central and State Government. Their ‘ source revenue’ (OSR) constitutes only five per cent of the total income from all sources of the PRIs during 2006-07. During the year 2006-07, the State Government released Second Finance Commission grants of Rs. 137.72 crore only (50 per cent of budget allocation) to the PRIs due to slow progress of expenditure.

State Government paid Rs. 0.88 crores from the State Account to PRIs as interest for delayed release of 1st instalment of Twelfth Finance Commission (TFC) grant for 2005-2006. The total expenditure of Rs. 185.11 crore by the PRIs, out of available TFC grant of Rs. 382.18 crore during 2005-07, amounted to only 48 per cent of the available grant. The percentage of expenditure on three priority sectors were four, five and eleven against recommended five per cent, 10-15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Test check of 1,189 accounts of PRIs revealed that 414 PRIs diverted TFC grant of Rs. 10.23 crore towards new construction works in violation of the directives of the Finance Commission. 31 Gram Panchayats (GPs) spent Rs. 8.16 crore during 2005-06 without preparing their annual accounts, while 51 GPs unauthorisedly spent Rs. 14.96 crore during the year without preparation of the budget.

Garbett-II Panchayat Samiti (PS) unauthorisedly spent Rs. 2.35 crore and Rs. 2.73 crore during 2004-05 and 2005-06 respectively without preparing its budget. Similarly, Nadia Zilla Parishad (ZP) spent Rs. 80.76 crore during 2005-06 without any budget estimate. Lack of budgetary control was also conspicuous in 1,559 GPs, 27 PSs and six ZPs which had spent Rs. 77.93 crores, Rs. 12.08 crores and Rs. 19.04 crores above budget provisions during 2005-06, 2004-06 and 2005-06 respectively. The Panchayats did not prepare any supplementary and revised estimates after that. Contrary to the provisions in the rules, 61 GPs spent Rs. 28.94 lakh during 2005-06 out of the revenues they collected from time to time without depositing the money into their respective savings bank accounts. Similarly, two PSs in 2004-05 and one in 2005-06 unauthorisedly appropriated Rs. 22.34 lakh and Rs. 41.36 lakh respectively from their revenues in violation of rules.Differences of Rs. 26.71 lakh in 102 GPs at the end of 2005-06, Rs. 1.13 crore in five PSs at the end of 2004-05 and Rs. 10.75 crore in 39 PSs at the end of 2005-06 and Rs. 1.70 crore in one ZP at the end of 2005-06 between Cash Book and Pass Book remained unreconciled. The lapse was fraught with the risk of misappropriation of funds going undetected. The unrealised amount of Rs. 58.01 crore in 3,173 GPs constituted 72 per cent of the total demand for taxes, duties, rates, fees and tolls at the end of 2005-06.

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