Govt’s flag­ship scheme flags ow­ing to funds mis­use: CAG

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Seven years af­ter it was launched, the Jawa­har­lal Nehru Na­tional Ur­ban Re­newal Mis­sion (JNNURM) — the UPA government's flag­ship pro­gramme to im­prove the de­crepit ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture of In­dian cities — has failed to de­liver, a report by the coun­try’s top au­di­tor has re­vealed.

Slam­ming the two im­ple­ment­ing min­istries — Ur­ban Devel­op­ment and Hous­ing & Ur­ban Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion — for “poor progress” in projects, the Comptroller & Au­di­tor Gen­eral — in its per­for­mance au­dit report on JNNURM — has come across ma­jor lapses such as di­ver­sion of funds worth R114 crore for nonJNNURM pur­poses, fail­ure of states to im­ple­ment gov­er­nance re­forms, and in­el­i­gi­ble ben­e­fi­cia­ries get­ting ben­e­fited.

Of the 2,815 ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture and hous­ing projects for ur­ban poor ap­proved un­der JNNURM till March 2011, only 8.9 % have been com­pleted. Of the 16 lakh dwelling units ap­proved, only 4.18 lakh were com­peted.

The au­di­tor ob­served that the two min­istries are ill- equipped to mon­i­tor a project of this mag­ni­tude. Of the to­tal in­vest­ment of R1 lakh crore pro­posed un­der JNNURM, the Cen­tre's share was R66,084 crore while states had to foot the re­main­ing cost. Till March 2011, Cen­tre had re­leased R32,934 crore.

The re­lease of funds was linked to im­ple­ment­ing manda­tory gov­er­nance re­forms.

The CAG found that not only states failed to im­ple­ment re­forms like giv­ing more power to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and re­duc­ing stamp duty, among oth­ers, eight states — Andhra Pradesh, Chat­tis­garh, Haryana, Jhark­hand and Hi­machal Pradesh — di­verted funds amount­ing to R114 crore for pur­poses other than those ad­mis­si­ble un­der JNNURM.

Be­sides, the au­di­tor also came across sev­eral in­stances where states earned in­ter­est out of JNNURM funds. Till March 2011, 22 states earned in­ter­est to the tune of R210 crore. Kar­nataka, Mad­hya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya even utilised the in­ter­est for non-JNNURM pur­poses.

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