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Non submission of utilization certificates : CAG calls for making officials accountable

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir has failed to submit 2,205 utilisation certificates (UCs) for an amount of over Rs 10,441 crore as on March 31, 2020, the Comptroller and Auditor and General of India (CAG) has said, noting that officials should be held accountable for the lapse.
It said the non-submission of the UCs means that authorities have not explained as to how funds were spent over the years and is fraught with the risk of misappropriation .
As per the CAG’s latest report on state finances, a total of 2,205 UCs involving Rs 10,441.58 crore was outstanding in J and K, of which 1,370 UCs amounting to Rs 5,972.99 crore was outstanding for more than a year.
In a utilisation certificate (UC), it is certified that the funds raised or taken by the entity is used for the intended purposes.
The department wise breakup of outstanding UCs shows that 86.53 per cent of the total amount of outstanding UCs pertained to five departments of Tourism, Health, Agriculture and Housing and 55.53 per cent of outstanding UCs pertained to the Education Department only, the report said.
Financial rules state that for the grants provided for specific purposes, UCs should be obtained by the department officers from grantees and after verification, these should be forwarded to the state’s Accountant General within 18 months from the date of sanction, it said.
As is evident from the data, UCs are outstanding for the past many years. Out of the 2,029 UCs outstanding as on 30 October 2019, 304 UCs (15 per cent) are pending since 2014-15, the report said.
The CAG took a dig at the J and K administration pointing out that the non-submission of the UCs means that the authorities have not explained as to how the funds were spent over the years.
“There is also no assurance that the intended objectives of providing these funds have been achieved. This assumes greater importance if such UCs are pending against Grants-in-Aid meant for capital expenditure,” it said.
The CAG report said, “Since non-submission of UCs is fraught with the risk of misappropriation, it is imperative that the State government should monitor this aspect closely and hold the concerned persons accountable for submission of UCs in a timely manner.
Giving breakup of the pendency of UCs, the report revealed that 1,370 UCs amounting to Rs 5972.99 crore are pending for submission in 2017-18, followed by 403 UCs for an amount of Rs 2218.09 crore in 2018-19, 256 UCs for an amount of Rs 1163.42 crore in 2019-20.
The CAG said non-submission and delay in submission of accounts by the bodies receiving substantial funding from the state budget is a serious financial irregularity.
“Thus, there was no feedback on activities and financial performance of these bodies,” it added.

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