Special Task Force identified ₹2,000 crore of unutilised funds by various government arms: Palanivel Thiaga Rajan

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Monday said a Special Task Force set up by the government has identified funds of nearly ₹2,000 crore which have been unutilised by various departments and agencies and can be remitted back to the treasury.

Briefing journalists at the Secretariat, he said as mentioned in the budget speech for 2021-22, a Special Task Force was constituted to reconcile, identify and access the funds of the government departments, government run societies, Statutory Institutions, Local Bodies kept outside the Treasury, within a particular timeframe.

The Task Force has collected and collated information broadly under the categories of available balances, liabilities and to be remitted into government accounts separately under each of the closed schemes, ongoing schemes and receipts of the Department, he added.

Through this process, from the data so far collected, the Special Task Force has traced a sum of about ₹1,946.31 crore that can be immediately remitted back to the Government Account, he said.

The details of bank accounts wherein government money was parked as on March 31, 2021 were collected from multiple sources like banks, district collectors, government departments and other quasi-Governmental entities, Mr. Thiaga Rajan said.

The Task Force has conducted several meetings with Government Departments and State Level Bankers Committee so as to build a reliable database for the purpose, he added.

“The ₹2,000 crore identified is just a trailer and many more will come,” Mr. Thiaga Rajan said.

He also said it is possible that further amounts of unutilised funds could also be identified for return to government treasury and for carrying out the process the Special Task Force will be given an extension up to March 31, 2022 and directed to undertake field based audit and reconciliation.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan also pointed out that it is important to put in place a mechanism to prevent the recurrence of such instances of idle non-utilisation of funds in the future.

He said the findings would be discussed with the Chief Minister, who will decide on how these funds that are to be returned could be used.

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