Srinagar, Apr 11 : The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pulled up the J&K Government for blocking utilisation of Rs 21.48 crore in the School Education department, saying this happened due to lack of planning, monitoring and coordination.
According to CAG report, which was tabled in the Parliament on April 06, the Project Approval Board (PAB) of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), in its 231st meeting held in February 2016, approved the Annual Works Plan and Budget (AWP&B) 2016-17 for the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Subsequently, on March 31, 2017, the State Project Director (SPD), SSA J&K released Rs 21.48 crore in favour of Director School Education Jammu (Rs 9.76 crore) and DSE Kashmir (Rs 11.72 crore) with the direction not to utilise these funds till further detailed instructions were issued.
Audit scrutiny of records of Director School Education Jammu in July 2020 revealed that no further instructions for utilisation of these funds were received from SPD, SSA J&K. “The amount of Rs 9.76 crore was held in the official saving bank account and invested (March 2018) in Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDRs) for a period of six months. Interest of Rs 3.13 crore accrued in the saving and fixed deposits was transferred to the Project Director, Samagra Shiksha,” reads the report.
According to the auditor, Rs 11.72 crore released to Director School Education Kashmir also remained unutilized in the savings bank account due to non-receipt of any directions for their utilization.
On being pointed out in the audit, DSE Jammu and DSE Kashmir stated the funds remained unutilised as they had not raised any demand under the civil works SSA Plan 2016-17 for release of these funds, besides the instructions for utilisation of the funds released were also not received from the SPD.
The Project Director, Samagra Shiksha, according to the report, stated that as the works under different components were being finalised, the DSEs Jammu and Kashmir were instructed not to utilise the funds till further orders.
According to the report, the School Education Department in March 2017 issued directions to the SPD, SSA/ RMSA that the funds available under these schemes are released to the implementing agencies so as to ensure nil balance at the end of year in order to avoid any future cuts on account of unspent balance by the Government of India.
“Thus lack of planning, monitoring and coordination between the offices of SPD, Samagra Shiksha, DSE Jammu and DSE Kashmir resulted in blocking of Rs 21.48 crore for the nearly four years,” the report states—(KNO)