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Sikkim faulted in awarding power projects: CAG
 GANGTOK, March 31 – The reports on accounts and major audit findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General for the year ended March 31, 2010 for Sikkim government was laid in the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

The Accountant General of Sikkim, Dinesh Bhagata announced the recommendations of the CAG Report at a press conference held on Wednesday.

Out of the total capital expenditure of Rs 648.53 crore, Rs 285.00 crore were blocked in 79 incomplete works which were due to be completed by March 31 last year, it was informed.

The ratio of social sector expenditure which includes expenditure on education and health as a proportion of aggregate expenditure is lower than the average of the North-eastern States, he said.

The report recommended the State needs to ensure effective implementation of the schemes and devise an effective monitoring mechanism to avoid the incidences of time and cost over-run and ensure that value of money is channelised in its entirety to the intended beneficiaries.

It was also found that the State Government commenced award of hydro power projects to Independent Power Producers (IIPs) without working out any effective modality and finalising any plan or policy.

“Projects were awarded at throw-away rates which compared very poorly with the charges imposed by all other hydro-power States in the country in respect of royalty revenue, upfront premium, penalty for delay, local area developments, etc. Environmental issues were also neglected and delayed,” it was informed.

It recommended that the State Public Private Partnership, particularly in hydro power projects may be finalised and all projects awarded after following transparent bidding procedures.

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