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C'garh didn't spend 25 pc of budget allocations in 16-17: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Chhattisgarh government for "over-budgeted" estimates in 2016-17, saying the government should prepare budget as per the actual need.

The report also said that the finance department should control rush of expenditure during the closing months of financial year.

The CAG made the remarks in its report on the state finances for the year ended March 31, 2017, tabled in the state Assembly on Wednesday.

The finance department should rationalise the budget preparation exercise, so that the persisting gap between budget estimates and actuals is bridged, Principal Accountant General (Audit), Chhattisgarh, Bijay Kumar Mohanty said.

He was speaking at a press conference here at his office after the report was presented in the House.

"Against the total budgetary provisions of Rs 80,202.32 crore during 2016-17, there was overall savings of Rs 19,743.88 crore....The government failed to spend around Rs 20,000 crore despite allocations made in budget," he said.

"The budget estimate should be prepared after correct observation of its utilisation. Two-four per cent variation in the budget estimate and expenditure can be understood but 25 per cent variations should be seriously looked at," he added.

The government should prepare budget as per the actual need and ensure its optimum utilisation, he added.

When the government could not spend around 25 percent of budgetary allocations, taking additional budgetary allocations repeatedly through supplementary budgets is a sign of financial mismanagement, Mohanty further remarked.

The CAG report also said the flurry of expenditure in the closing months of financial year should be avoided.

Expenditure of Rs 5,569.91 crore was incurred under 39 heads in the last quarter of 2016-17, which was 64 per cent of the total expenditure of Rs 8,756.54 crore under these heads, he said.

This entails the risk of misuse of public money and such hasty expenditure is not a prudent financial management, he added.