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CAG indicts Pujab govt on purchase of helicopter, other

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) today pointed out "non-adherence" of rules and procedures by Punjab government in purchase of a helicopter for flying Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The CAG report tabled in the state Assembly also indicted the state government on several issues including a scheme to install Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in view of toxity of underground water.

The CAG report tabled in the state Assembly here pointed that the state government invited no tenders and did no evaluation before the purchase of a Rs 36.62 crore helicopter in 2012.

"The civil aviation department purchased a helicopter valuing Rs 36.62 crore in disregard of the rules prescribed for public servant," the report said.

The state civil aviation department has purchased a specially designed Bell 429 -- a twin-engine five-seater helicopter -- for flying Badal and his son Sukhbir in 2012, despite lot of hue and cry by opposition Congress which claimed that the state is already facing a fiscal crunch.

As many as 675 AC bills amounting to Rs 1,772.10 crore were awaiting adjustment as on March 31 2014.

The CAG in its reports pointed out various irregularities including spending without any budgetary provision, not providing utilisation certificates, instances of theft and loss of assets, expenditures not coming up to the budgeted provisions and non-realisation of receipts from concerned departments.

The CAG also pulled the government's Home Affairs and Justice Department, held by Sukhbir, for procuring arms worth Rs 2.17 crore in the last three years "without compatible" ammunition. "These arms are lying idle," the reports says.

"Arms valuing Rs 2.17 crore procured without compatible ammunition, without ensuring requisite specifications and without assessing requirement led to idle expenditure," the report says.

Central Sales Tax of Rs 3.35 crore was paid in excess of the prescribed rates in purchase of arms, it said adding that "custody or arms and ammunition was not as per norms and those were not being periodically examined for its serviceability due to non-availability of ammunition examiner."

The money for constructing Rajasthan-Sirhind canal was "diverted," said the report adding that the non-release of funds by the state government despite availability of central funds and funds from the government of Rajasthan resulted in blockade of funds of Rs 123.09 crore and 'denial of intended benefits to the farmers." More.

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First Published: Fri, March 20 2015. 20:57 IST