10 things CAG has alerted including shortage of army's ammunition

NEW DELHI: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has red-flagged issues such as shortage of ammunition to the Indian Army and unsuitable food on trains. The CAG pointed serious concerns in its audit reports tabled in Parliament. Here are 10 observations made by the country's top auditor:

1) Critical deficiency in supply of ammunition to the army

The CAG has slammed the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for critical deficiency in availability of ammunition to the army. It also criticised the OFB for inadequate quality of ammunition supplied to the army since March 2013.

The CAG said despite serious concerns highlighted in a high-level report on ‘Ammunition management in Army' in 2015, no significant improvement took place in the critical deficiency in availability of ammunition and quality of ammunition supplied by the OFB.

2) Food on trains unsuitable for consumption

Pointing out that an iron nail was found in a plate of cutlets offered to a passenger travelling on the Lucknow- Anand Vihar terminal double decker last year, the CAG has slammed the Indian Railways for serving food articles such as recycled, contaminated and expired items and unauthorised water brands "unfit for human consumption".
Cockroaches, rats, insects and dust was noticed in the pantry cars of the premier Duronto trains, while 100 unsold ‘parathas' were found in the base kitchen of the North Central Railways for reuse and recycling, while numerous such discrepancies were noticed on different trains and stations: Buckets of drinking water and beverages kept in the vestibule near the toilet area in the Paschim Express - uncovered food items kept on the floor at the Chapra station.

3) Shocking lapses led to Indian Navy's worst accidents

Shocking lapses led to two of the worst Indian naval accidents involving submarines in which 20 personnel lost their lives, a report by the CAG revealed. Citing the findings of a naval inquiry, the latest CAG report said the operational deployment of INS Sindhurakshak was simply not justified.

"Submarine authorities concerned did not properly assess the crew fatigue, besides, the submarine was holding ammunition nearing life expiry," the report quoted the naval Board of Inquiry (BoI) findings. The submarine was disposed in June 2017 and its final resting point is 3,000 metres under the Arabian Sea.

4) Six telecom companies under-reported revenue by over Rs 61,000 crore

Private telecom operators have understated revenues worth over Rs 61,000 crore from 2010 to 2015, leading to a shortage of payment to exchequer, a report by the CAG has revealed.

The CAG audited six telecom companies - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel, Idea, Reliance Communication and Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd.

5) Expired medicines at govt hospitals, acute shortage of doctors

Unspent public health funds of over Rs 9,500 crore, using expired and substandard medicines at government hospitals and acute shortage of doctors and specialists is plaguing India's public healthcare delivery, showed the CAG's performance audit of reproductive and child health under Union health ministry's flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
The report found in 14 states medicines were issued to patients ‘without ensuring the prescribed quality checks and without observing the expiry periods of drugs, thus exposing patients to grave risks.'
The states in question are Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

6) 60% shortfall of central funds to Assam for flood management

A CAG report has observed that there has been a 60% shortfall in release of central funds to Assam for implementing flood management programme.

The report comes at a time when the state is grappling with flood situation in 13 districts in which 73 people have died. Till July 19, five lakh people were affected in the latest wave of floods.

7) Holes in crop insurance schemes

The CAG has picked several holes in the crop insurance schemes including Narendra Modi government's flagship Pradhan Manti Fasal Bima Yojana (PMBFY), saying delays in release of compensation by states to affected farmers defeated "the objective of providing timely financial assistance".

In its audit report on agriculture crop insurance schemes, the CAG highlighted irregularities in disbursing claims by banks and financial institutions to farmers' accounts under the crop insurance schemes and recommended introduction of a mechanism to ensure that state governments' shares are received in time.

8) Road ministry's plan caused Rs 1.85 crore unfruitful expenditure

The road ministry's inefficient planning and monitoring led to unfruitful expenditure of Rs 1.85 crore on the eight traffic counters procured from Canada in 2008, the CAG has said.

9) Writing off Kingfisher dues to BIAL ‘untenable'

The CAG has termed a request from the Bangalore airport operator to the government to waive more than Rs 9 crore owed by the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "untenable" and an "undue favour".

The CAG also censured the government for failing to ensure that the airport operator recovered over Rs 17 crore from various airlines.

10) Gaps found in financial management, compliance of RTE Act

The CAG has said it found gaps in financial management, compliance, monitoring and evaluation of Right To Education (RTE) Act 2009.

Also, teachers were deployed for non-educational purposes in nine states in violation of the Act, said a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on ‘Implementation of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009'.


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