Progress of works in Mukhya Mantri Nishchaya Yojna in Bihar not satisfactory: CAG

The report tabled in Assembly also flags deficiencies in the State medical sector

The Comptroller and Auditor General report laid in the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday said the progress in works under the Mukhya Mantri Nishchaya Yojna (chief minister’s resolves programme) has not been “satisfactory”.

The CAG report for 2018-19 said the progress of works under the Mukhya Mantri Nischaya Yojna was not satisfactory as only 15% and 24% of works were completed in test checked gram panchayats and municipalities respectively.

At the State level, only nine to 41% works were completed. The Mukhya Mantri Nishchaya Yojna is considered Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ambitious programme in the State.

The report also highlighted shortfalls in the medical sector in Bihar. “Against construction of 12 medical colleges [including a dental college] during 2006-07 to 2016-17, only two medical colleges became functional till 2018. Construction of only two nursing institutes could be completed till 2018 against 61 planned. The Government of Bihar did not take effective steps to increase the seats in existing medical colleges,” the CAG said.

Shortage of staff

The report underlined shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff, significant deficiencies in infrastructure and shortage of medical equipment in medical colleges. “Only 75% amount was spent under plan head during 2013-18, which is attributable to poor progress of construction works taken up under different schemes of the State government,” it added.

The CAG said works valued at ₹424.67 crore were started without obtaining Technical Sanction (TS) in 13 packages. An excess payment of ₹3.57 crore was made on road marking work under three packages in the road division and an excess payment of ₹99.05 lakh was made on PM work under Road Division, Molinari and Sitamarhi.”

Additional burden

The report highlighted the “additional burden on State exchequer due to the action of the Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency to execute an agreement with the agency without taking Performance Guarantee (PG). Not taking legal action to recover PG led to additional financial burden of ₹5.93 crore on the exchequer due to re-tendering.” It also underlined “misappropriation of municipal revenue and fraudulent payment” in the department.

While making reference of “incomplete projects,” the CAG report said, “A total of 68 projects were due for completion during the period 2011-12 to 2018-19. Since the details of all 68 projects with an estimated cost of ₹790.99 crore were not furnished by the departments, their revised cost was not exhibited in the finance accounts and was thus not ascertainable.”

“During the year 2018-19, the State government incurred a notional loss of ₹1,739.28 crore on return on investment in various entities on account of difference between the government’s borrowing cost and the return on investment,” the CAG added. “The interest in arrears on loans and advances to various entities had increased over the years and was ₹9,038.12 crore as of March 31, 2019,” the report said.

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