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Sunday, August 7, 2011

NRHM FUNDS SCANDAL: CAG sees fraud in transfer of Central funds to U.P.!

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Atiq Khan, The Hindu / LUCKNOW, August 7, 2011.

Even as the Opposition parties' allegations of financial bungling in implementation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in Uttar Pradesh have pushed the Bahujan Samaj Party regime on the back foot, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has warned that direct transfer of funds from the Central Government to the State's implementing agencies is “fraught with the risk of their improper utilisation by these agencies”.
The CAG report on the finances of the U.P. government for the year ended March 31, 2010, tabled in the State Assembly notes that Rs.13,710.19 crore was transferred directly to the State agencies by the Centre in 2009-10 for implementation of various Central schemes. In 2008-09, the figure stood at Rs.13,781.71 crore.
A significant increase of Rs.1,131.08 crore from Rs.4187.78 crore in 2008-09 to Rs.5,318.86 in 2009-10 was under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), followed by an increase of Rs.151.48 crore from Rs.1,657 crore in 2008-09 to Rs.1,808.67 crore in 2009-10 under NRHM, the CAG report says.
If the allocation of funds under NREGS and NRHM went up, the allocation under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Total Sanitation Campaign and Indira Awas Yojana in 2009-10 decreased as compared to the previous year, the CAG report says.
According to the CAG, State implementing agency includes any organisation, institution, including NGOs authorised by the State government to receive funds from the Central government for implementation of specific programmes. In Uttar Pradesh, the NRHM funds are received by the State Health Society of U.P., Lucknow, which was the implementing agency of the programme, the CAG says. The State implementing agency for NREGS is the Commissioner, Rural Development.

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