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Finding no completion reports for 78 railway projects commissioned 24 years ago, a parliamentary panel has said if a test audit could reveal so many instances of non-preparation of reports, the "quantum" of such cases, across zones, at present would be much more.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its report on the "Accounting of Projects in Indian Railways" said that this raised "serious doubts" about the possibility of adding on
expenditure even after completion of actual work as the books were kept open for such a long time.
The PAC said that the engineering code stipulates that completion reports have to be prepared in order to compare the cost of work actually incurred with that provided in the sanctioned estimate.
"The Committee is shocked to observe that there is no explanation by the Ministry as to why Completion Reports of 78 projects commissioned twenty four years ago were not prepared.
"If the test checked cases in the Audit Report reveals non-preparation of completion reports of 78 projects commissioned even 24 years ago the Committee can very well visualise that what would be the quantum of non-completion of reports at present in the entire Railway Zones," the committee said in its report.
The committee recommended that after taking stock of the total non-completion reports, the chief accounting authority in the Railway Board as well as the concerned accounting authorities in all the Railway Zones should be "held responsible for this lapse and suitable punishment awarded to them".
"A robust internal control system to assess and verify the cost of completed projects in the books of accounts should be evolved by the Ministry. The Committee would also like to be apprised of the present position of 50 per cent outstanding reports which were to be completed by December 31, 2017," it said.
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