The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on economic sector (other than public sector undertakings), economic sector (public sector undertakings) and social sector for the year ending March 31, 2020, found various irregularities in the utilisation of funds.
The report was laid before the legislature on February 22, 2023 and was made available to the media houses on Monday.
As per the report, under the economic sector (other than public sector undertakings) there is a suspected misappropriation in the Fisheries Department and infructuous expenditures on idle equipment in the department of Commerce and Industries.
Under the economic (public sector undertaking), there is idle investment in the Manipur Food Industries Corporation Limited.
In the social sector, there is unfruitful expenditure in the Art and Culture department, misutilisation of funds in the department of Labour and Employment, suspected misappropriation in the Tribal Affairs and Hills department and idle expenditure in the Youth Affairs and Sports department.
It stated that the department of Fisheries withdrew Rs 26.64 lakh for six works for payment to contractors out of which Rs 16.73 lakh for two works was suspected to have been misappropriated as the amount drawn was neither supported by APR as proof of payment nor was deposited back to government account as assured by the department.
In this regard, recommendation had been given to the state government to fix responsibility on the DDO concerned for fabrication of records with an intention to defraud the government by misappropriation of funds.
It further recommended conduction of investigation for the suspected misappropriation at the earliest and strict action, including filing of FIR, if necessary, should be initiated against the delinquent officials for misappropriation of government funds.
The report also pointed out that the department of Commerce and Industries procured 73 equipment worth Rs 4.30 crore to set up nine Livelihood Business Incubators, out of which 42 equipment worth Rs. 3.26 crore were kept idle and two equipment worth Rs10 lakh remained traceless.
In this regard, it had recommended the state government to take up urgent steps to get operationalise the idle equipment, trace the two missing equipment so as to use them for their intended purpose in order to achieve the objectives of LBI Scheme.
Coming to the Manipur Food Industries Corporation Limited, it has pointed out that the Cold Storage facility constructed at Food Park, Nilakuthi remained un-utilised even after nine years of its completion, resulting in idle and unfruitful expenditure of Rs 2.79 crore.
For this, it had recommended the state government to conduct proper investigation to ascertain the bottlenecks leading to these Cold Storages remaining idle.
In the Art and Culture department, it pointed out that the Stack Room of Manipur State Archives Complex remained incomplete for more than nine years even after incurring expenditure of Rs 1.07 crore, rendering the expenditure unfruitful.
In this regard, it recommended the state government to investigate as to how the financial expenditure was not commensurate with the physical progress of the buildings. As the building is meant to provide storage facilities for archival materials, effective steps should be taken to complete the building without further delays, it added.
The report also pointed out that the Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board diverted and utilised Welfare Fund of Rs 1.48 crore for construction of Office Building that was not permissible under the Workers' Welfare Scheme.
In this regard, it recommended the state government to refund the expenditure that had been spent from the Board's fund and the funds should be utilised only for the intended purpose in future.
Failure of Deputy Labour Commissioner, Imphal to safeguard Government property created at Rs 1.27 crore rendered the public property wasteful for more than twelve years, it added.
It further recommended taking up all necessary action to secure the land and the buildings from the unauthorised occupant to avoid loss of state government's property without further delay.
The report further informed that the Tribal Affairs and Hills department withdrew scheme funds deposited in the bank accounts in gross violation of financial rules.
It said, payment of Rs 30.36 crore could not be verified in Audit due to non-availability of records, vouchers/APRS which points toward doubtful expenditure and suspected misappropriation of funds.
For this, it recommended the state government to complete the investigation by the Departmental Enquiry at the earliest and strict action, including filing of FIR, if necessary, should be initiated against the delinquent officials for misappropriation of government funds.
For the Youth Affairs and Sports department, it pointed out that the construction of District Sports Complex at Senapati sanctioned since January 2007 at the cost of Rs 13.23 crore remained incomplete for more than eight years.
Moreover, there was no progress on the project since October 2014, the incomplete sport facilities have further deteriorated and the assets already created were being misused by unauthorised occupants, it added.
In this regard, it recommended the state government to take effective measures to complete the complex at the earliest and the sports infrastructures are put to use to achieve the intended objective of the project.