Flagrant misuse of State funds

In the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the paradoxical reality is that the Government has to ‘teach and guide’ its concerned employees who enjoy the powers to deal with the public funds about not to misuse such funds as if this much of basic and hard core fundamental moral principle is needed to be injected into their working culture instead of it being there naturally. To put it in not that polite coating but in simple and pointed form , not to loot public funds . Agreed, such a scenario cannot be expected to be rife in each and every State Department but wherever it is, it needs not to be set right by issuing repeated guidelines and circulars only as to such funds should not be plundered , merely not ‘misused’ as the term denotes either ostentatious expenditures or those ones which were not sure of resulting in public welfare and benefit .
Can public monies be repeatedly “released” against already restored works and which were running and in good condition? If the findings of the Anti Corruption Bureau are to be believed , this has and is taking place in various Government departments in Jammu and Kashmir . In other words, for the same executed work , complete and functioning , funds or the cost of the project are drawn more than once from the State treasury . If it is not a loot or thieving , what else could it be called? Funds withdrawn in such a fraudulent manner were allegedly misappropriated by the concerned officers and officials . Strangely , as ‘Excelsior’ has repeatedly been stressing upon the need to make auditing and inspections as an inalienable part of the functioning of the State Departments , this modus- operandi has been unearthed by the Anti Corruption Bureau . The cost of auditing and series of surprise inspections would be only a small negligible fraction of the amount of frauds and embezzlements taking place in the departments. The Anti Corruption Bureau has done its duty of informing the Government in details about the apparent scam only to have the response from the Government in issuing “fresh” guidelines only as to how funds should not be misused as if the ones responsible for the wilful and deliberate goof did not know about the same. We feel and our readers would endorse that such officials should have been arrested by now and put in jail preceded by their services placed under suspension.
In the Government guidelines, newer mechanism to ‘monitor’ the issue has been arranged to be kept at place like taking photographs of the executed works , location of works through GPS coordinates , prior administrative approval for undertaking works etc but nowhere is it mentioned that periodical audits, both from the Accountant General’s office and from external auditors, should be part and parcel of the works executed and payments drawn there- against certified to be genuine and bona-fide. It is also not revealed whether such officers have been identified and the total loss to the exchequer caused due to such ‘double drawings’ calculated as also, how was the amount going to be recovered. There is no information about how early the departmental as well as penal action was going to be taken against those responsible for such fraudulent drawings. We shall be closely monitoring the developments in the matter.