The Jammu Development Authority is among 56 autonomous bodies in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh that has not submitted accounts for audit for the past many decades, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said, noting that the delay in finalisation of accounts entails the possibility of “fraud” and “misappropriation”.
The CAG pointed out that there is no feedback on the activities and financial performance of these bodies over the years.
”A total of 811 annual accounts of 56 autonomous bodies to be audited under Section 14 of the CAG’s (DPC) Act 1971 were awaited from these autonomous bodies as on October 2019,” it said in its latest report issued recently.
The CAG said the matter has been taken up with these bodies time and again for submission of annual accounts for audit.
IIT Jodhpur develops indigenous metal 3D Printers for aerospace and general engineering applications
The Jammu Development Authority (JDA) figures on top of all these bodies in terms of pendency of audit accounts, as its accounts for audit are awaited for past 46 years from 1972-73 to 2018-19, the report said.
This organisation is followed by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, whose accounts are pending for submission for 31 years from 1988-89 to 2018-19. While audit accounts of the Pollution Control Board are pending for 24 years from 1996-96 to 2018-19, the same of Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Jammu Urban Development Agency (JUDA) and Tourism development Authority Gulmarg is pending for 20, 20 and 19 years, respectively, it said.
As per the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (DPC) Act 1971, the autonomous bodies come under the audit purview and are required to submit the annual accounts to audit before June 30 every year.
The CAG report said in respect of 10 autonomous bodies, which were to render annual accounts to audit body, 84 accounts were not rendered for the period ranging between one to 24 years.
The report pointed out that the audit of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, and the LAHDC, Kargil, has been entrusted to the CAG of India.
”LAHDC, Leh has failed to submit accounts for audit since its inception i.e. 1995-96, although substantial sums are being released to the Council and unspent balances at the end of the year remain credited in a non-lapsable fund in the public account of the state,” the report said.
It further noted that the same is the position in respect of LAHDC, Kargil, which came into existence in 2004-05 and the accounts are in arrears since its inception.
The Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) too has not submitted the accounts for audit since its inception, i.e. November 2009, the report said.
Similarly, SKUAST, Kashmir, SKUAST, Jammu, EPF Board, Srinagar, KVIB, BOCWWB and SLSA have also not submitted their accounts for audit for the period ranging between one to nine years, it said.
“Non-submission and delay in submission of accounts by these bodies receiving substantial funding from the state budget is a serious financial irregularity persisting for years,” the CAG said.
It said the delay in finalisation of accounts carries the risk of financial irregularities going undetected and entails the possibility of fraud and misappropriation.
”This has also deprived the state legislature the opportunity to get feedback on their activities and financial performance,” it added.
The government may take up the matter with these bodies for timely preparation and submission of accounts, the CAG said.