CAG raps UP for misusing funds for Bundelkhand

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped UP for diverting Rs 330 crore meant for Bundelkhand and eastern UP to other schemes, thus badly affecting the development of these regions.

"Between 2004 and 2009,the UP government invested Rs 2,482 crore to augment the physical infrastructure of the two regions. Despite the investment,15 of the state's most backward districts are in Bundelkhand and eastern UP," the CAG said in its report for the year ending March 2009.

The report questioned the wisdom of the government in not assessing as to what extent the investment addressed the "problem of backwardness" in the two regions. In fact, the evaluation division of the State Planning Institute, the report noted, has not conducted an evaluation study in these regions in the past 10 years.

CAG audited development projects undertaken in Bundelkhand and eastern UP between 2004 and 2009, financed from the Purvanchal Vikas Nidhi (Purvanchal Development Fund). The audit revealed that funds were allocated to the two regions without taking into account the disparities and deficiencies in development.The CAG expressed its unhappiness over the poor monitoring of the execution of the development works at the government, divisional and district level.

The audit also found that in violation of the guidelines, Rs 5.70 crore from Vikas Nidhi were spent on construction of shelters for teachers, marriage halls, welcome gates outside towns, graveyards and cremation grounds. The works were approved by divisional commissioners.

Purvanchal Vikas Nidhi was set up in 1990-91 to accelerate development of Bundelkhand and eastern UP— the two regions comprise 29 districts — and address regional imbalances and disparities in development. Funds were also made available for development of the two regions from the Bundelkhand Development Package, 2006 and grants of the Twelfth Finance Commission (2006-09).

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