R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 14 – The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has identified serious irregularities in the implementation of the transport subsidy scheme and pointed out that in states like Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland, there is no system of periodic inspection of the units or checking of raw materials and finished products for authenticity.
The CAG, in its report number 3 of 2010-11, said that sample surveys conducted during the audit found that transport subsidy was paid without proper verification of the documents. Out of the 120 test checked cases, the state level committees passed claims worth Rs 61.78 crore without availability of sales tax, vat assessments in 67 cases, of which, 27 are in Assam, 12 in Arunachal Pradesh, two in Himachal Pradesh, six in Jammu and Kashmir, 13 in Meghalaya and nine are in Nagaland.
The report said that of the 79 test checked cases, claims amounting to Rs 147.86 were passed without supporting documents like bank certificates, no objection certificates from the state sales tax departments etc in 77 cases, of which as many as 45 cases were from Assam, 10 from Arunachal Pradesh, 15 in Meghalaya and seven in Nagaland.
Out of the 95 test check cases, there was no proof of adjustment of outstanding dues of the Government and financial institutions and in this regard too, Assam had the dubious distinction of heading the tally with 37 such cases. The report said that in the test checked cases, an amount of Rs 137.27 crore was paid to industrial units. The report said that there were a number of instances of payment of transport subsidy without submission of claims in prescribed performa. The report said that an amount of Rs 17.92 crore was paid to units in this regard.
The report said that in eleven cases, an amount of Rs 5.33 crore was paid where the registration numbers of vehicles with which materials were transported were not available, while, in 25 cases, the guidelines regarding exclusion of the cost of loading/unloading and other handling charges were not adhered to.
The CAG pointed out that as per the rules, payments in respect of non-manufacturing units, illegal wood based activities, inadmissible raw materials etc are not permissible. However, during test check of the records, the CAG found that in Arunachal Pradesh, two saw mills engaged in illegal wood based activities were paid subsidy amounting to Rs 1.50 crore between 2004 and 2008 as per the approval of the state level committee.
As per the orders of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, transport subsidy is not admissible to CPC, which was a product of the refineries. But two industrial units of Assam were paid subsidy amounting to Rs 7.38 crore was paid between 2002 to 2009 for transportation of CPC, which was not admissible.
The report further said that an amount of Rs 34 lakh was released to an industrial unit of Assam for transportation of alcohol, spirit etc as raw material and India made foreign liquor as finished product at a time when payment of subsidy for these items are not permissible, the report added.