Monday, June 5, 2023

CAG report exposes 24 cases of irregularities in some ministries, totaling Rs 348.57 crore: Representative

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has discovered 24 cases of irregularities involving Rs 348.57 crore involving four ministries and departments and four central public sector enterprises, reported news agency IANS on Tuesday.

Report No. 24 of 2022 – Central Government of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Civil), tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, contains 24 illustrative cases of irregularities involving Rs 348.57 crore relating to four Ministries/Departments, four Central Public Sector Enterprises Are included. Two Union Territories under his administrative control, and without Legislature.

According to the report, while the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revised the rates for issuing new Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, 17 Missions/Posts in the Eurozone did not, and three Missions/Posts in the UK reduced rates. adopted exchange rate to recover OCI charges, resulting in a loss of Rs 58.23 crore.

“Acknowledging the comments, the Ministry of External Affairs stated that both the MEA and the Missions/Posts abroad are responsible for revising the OCI card charges in terms of local currency depending on the fluctuations in the Rate of Foreign Exchange (ROE), But due to misinterpretation of instructions that fixation of OCI scheme fee is directed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, an estimated revenue loss has occurred as Missions/Posts in Europe did not implement the revised ROE for local currencies in time,” the report said. has gone.

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As per the report, the Ministry of External Affairs purchased two properties in Paris (2011) and Washington (2013) to set up the Indian Cultural Center (ICC), but was unable to rehabilitate them in time for use. Due to serious structural challenges and internal defects like encroachment issues at ICC Washington, Rs 41.93 crore spent on the purchase of the property and its rehabilitation or renovation remained unfruitful.

“Similarly, the property purchased for ICC Paris at a cost of Rs 30.03 crore remained unutilized till June 2022, with an irregular expenditure of Rs 14.89 crore on hiring a local security agency for an under-construction building,” the report said. “

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In another case, the CAG report states that the Indian embassy in Beijing contracted a business to build the Indian embassy complex there. The audit observed that the EOI, Beijing made an avoidable payment of Rs 8.53 crore on account of escalation, despite the fact that escalation clause was not applicable in the terms and conditions of the contract.

“Furthermore, due to the issue of faulty lift, it stopped payment to the contractor for a period ranging between three and five years, resulting in an avoidable payment of Rs 1.58 crore to the contractor,” the report continued.

According to the CAG report, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances had rented office space from the State Trading Corporation of India Limited, which needed major renovation before it could be occupied.

According to the report, “Though the space was rented from December 2020, the renovation process started only in September 2021. This resulted in a total wastage of Rs 13.26 crore for nine months’ rent from December 2020 to August 2021 “

(With inputs from IANS)

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