In nine test-checked divisions, Rs. 10.71 crores irregularly withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund against NABARD projects were lying unspent in deposit head for 10 to 82 months. Against reimbursement of expenditure as a loan for projects sanctioned during 2013-18, there was a short claim of Rs. 57.73 crores from NABARD.
Unspent funds under deposit head
In nine (out of 17) test-checked divisions, the EEs had withdrawn Rs. 18.38 crore from the Consolidated Fund during 2011-18 and showed it as a final expenditure while keeping the amount under deposit head against works actually not executed on the ground. Of this amount, expenditure of Rs. 7.67 crores was incurred in the subsequent years for execution of the works, and a balance of Rs. 10.71 crores was lying unspent under deposit heads for more than 10 to 82 months.
Withdrawal of funds without physical achievement in order to avoid lapse of the budget was irregular and reflected a lack of financial control. Besides, keeping the borrowed funds unutilized under deposit head (outside the budgetary process) for prolonged periods resulted in their unnecessary blocking as the same could have been utilized on other needy works, and in denial of timely benefits to the public.
In the exit conference, the ACS accepted the facts and stated that it was a routine practice to keep funds under deposit heads and the same is utilized on the scheme subsequently. However, the funds were lying unspent under deposit heads since March 2012.
Financial Controls- Reimbursement of loan by NABARD
NABARD funding is by way of reimbursement of expenditure incurred on the projects on a monthly basis upon submission of statement of expenditure (SOE) by the State Government. The EEs are to submit the details of expenditure incurred on the roads to the Engineer-in-Chief on a monthly basis and claims are further submitted to NABARD through Finance Department for reimbursement.
The position of projects sanctioned, expenditure incurred, reimbursement due, and reimbursement actually made by NABARD during 2013-18 (Period of performance audit) is depicted in the Table-2.1.8 below:
Against reimbursement of Rs. 486.60 crores (90 percent of expenditure incurred) due under RIDF-XIX to XXIII from NABARD during 2013-18, the Department had claimed reimbursement of a loan of Rs. 428.87 crores resulting in a short claim of Rs. 57.73 crores. Even against reimbursement of Rs. 428.87 crores claimed by the Department during the above period, Rs. 15.84 crores had not been received as of March 2018. The ACS stated (December 2018) that submission of reimbursement claims was a continuous process and claims were submitted to NABARD on the basis of actual expenditure incurred on the projects. However, the Department had neither claimed reimbursement keeping in view the actual expenditure incurred nor received the reimbursement actually claimed.