GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), in complete violation of the rules, opened a new head of account called the �Chief�s discretionary expenditure� and spent an amount of Rs 180.33 crore during the period from 2010-11 to 2013-14 and there have been instances where the amount spent under the head was more than the revenue collected. Moreover, there have been discrepancies in the utilization of the funds under the head.
A special audit carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) revealed that in three years, the �Chief�s discretionary expenditure� was more than the revenue collected. The CAG, in its report, pointed out that no such head as the �Chief�s discretionary expenditure� exists in the list of major and minor heads of accounts of the Union or the State and no such power was delegated to the BTC and thus, such spending was totally unauthorized. Despite the fact that the matter was pointed out to the BTC authorities, the irregularity continued.
Moreover, there have been irregularities in utilization of funds earmarked under the �Chief�s discretionary expenditure.� Of the amount of Rs 52.92 crore spent under the �Chief�s discretionary fund� in 2011-12, Rs 19.05 crore was spent on procurement of agricultural spray machines, cotton yarn, school bags and sewing machines for distribution among the beneficiaries. However, there was nothing on record to show transparency in the selection of beneficiaries. Test check of the records showed that 1,79,500 school bags were procured at the rate of Rs 556.15 per bag under the �Chief�s discretionary expenditure,� but more than 1,760 bags were not distributed and were dumped, resulted in wasteful expenditure of Rs 9.80 lakh. There is no record to show why the bags were not distributed. At the same time, at least two block elementary education officers produced tampered records with overwritings and the actual distribution of bags could not be verified during the audit.
The CAG pointed out that a payment of Rs five crore was made from the Chief�s discretionary fund in 2012-13 to one thousand former BLT and NDFB cadres for generating self employment.
The records of the BTC showed that in 2012-13, on the request of suppliers� request for supply of VST Shakti Power Reaper, a decision was taken to procure it and a supply order was placed for 50 power reapers to M/s MD Autocity, Bodoland Enterprise valued at Rs 64.17 lakh. The suppliers� bill was passed and paid in February, 2013. However, there was no record to show the need for power reapers nor any such demand of proposal was received from the field level. Moreover, copies of delivery challans showing chassis and engine numbers, approved list of beneficiaries and basis of their selection could not be made available during the audit.
The report said that during 2013-14, the Chief of the BTC issued directions for inviting quotations for procuring computers under the Chief�s Discretionary Fund for distribution among the officers of the village council development committees. Accordingly a proposal was prepared for procurement of 412 sets of computers, laser printers, computer tables, chairs etc. Three bidders quoted their rates for the supply orders and the lowest one was approved at Rs 33,490 per computer, Rs 8,290 per printer, Rs 2,500 per 700 VA UPS, Rs 4,000 for each computer table and Rs 3,000 for each chair. Scrutiny of the records showed that against the proposal for procurement of 412 sets, the supply orders for 824 sets were issued. As the specified printer was not available, the purchase committee decided to approve a different set of printers, which were said to have same specification at the rate of Rs 11,950 per printer. However, during the audit, it was found that the actual maximum retail price of the printers supplied was Rs 6,599 only and the BTC made an excess payment of Rs 44.09 lakh from the �Chief�s Discretionary Fund�.