Monitoring languishing projects

There is a huge number of languishing projects across Jammu and Kashmir where huge amount of public funds had already been spent but the concerned projects were left half way and even abandoned primarily for want of requisite funds. These projects, it may be recalled, are currently being nursed under “Languishing Scheme” and since funds had been the cause of such disruption, stoppage and even abandonment of work on them, funding issue had been resolved by the Government by formation in late 2018, of Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFCL) primarily to raise loans from banks and other financial institutions to fund these held up projects. So far so good – and now the only worry being that of adhering to new timelines fixed which was ensured to be seen and done by means of conducting physical and financial audit of such languishing projects by duly constituted Concurrent Audit Teams. A process of such monitoring of these projects which are in thousands, though initially claimed to yield encouraging results, in fact, appears to be an exercise at best conducted on papers and confined to official meetings only. While it was decided to have a district level approach to the issue and have the information on monthly basis from these constituted teams of Concurrent Audit, the fact of the matter is that no such work has been undertaken by these teams till date let alone apprising the concerned authorities about the latest position about these projects. The fears could gain ascendancy lest even after pumping in fresh funds from the JKIDFCL, these languishing projects could get again lingered on and protracted which could be ill afforded and had to be prevented only by means of constant monitoring, watch, inspections and audits through these Concurrent Audit Teams which were supposed to be under the overall control of the District Development Commissioners (DDCs) as per the directives of the Financial Commissioner, Finance Department.
We have been, time and again, reiterating that most of the projects succumb to sheer lack of monitoring, supervision, assessing functional difficulties and providing timely solutions. That results in the inevitable – the public funds expended till the moment of suspension and closure of works on them going down the drain as no utility whatsoever thereof is realised, nor felt . That scenario must be avoided at all costs. Cost escalation, wastage and damage to the created and built parts of the concerned project, mismanagement of resources spent on them with apprehensions of even misappropriation add to further complications which effectively call for very robust system of physical and financial audit of such projects. The composition of such teams , on the face of it, appears varied and wide as they comprise Chartered Accountants, due representation from Public Works, Public Health Engineering, Power Development, Economics and Statistics Departments, Audits and Inspection etc – all to be under the overall control of the DDCs.
What happened to those directions given to such formed teams in early September last year in response to the Board of Directors meetings of Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation Limited (JKIDFCL) which were held in August last year ? Where are the monthly reports expected from the Audit Teams which were to be submitted through the District Development Commissioners to the Chairman of the JKIDFCL ? How the end use of the fresh funds inducted shall be verified in the absence of the concurrent audit the very name of which denotes a systematic and timely examination of financial transaction and physical inspection on a regular basis. The overall aim being that of accuracy, authenticity, compliance of guidelines etc. It may be noted that there could be no better tool than the Concurrent Audit to ensure substantial checking and not merely a random or a test checking. Excuses for taking the job quite non -seriously from these constituted teams are meriting no consideration, not to speak of gaining any legitimacy. In all probabilities, the Government needs to review taking a lenient stand on such glaring non adherence to the task assigned especially when they are regarding auditing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here