CAG report punctures J&K Govt’s health sector claims
“102 ambulance services remained non-operational for over 3 years; JKMSC’s deficiencies in procurement of medicines, equipment defeats purpose of its creation”
Jammu: The non-operationalisation of 102 ambulance services for over three years and deficiencies in procurement of medicines and equipment by the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited came in for a sharp criticism by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as it released its audit findings of various public sector undertakings during 2017-18.
The CAG report on public sector undertakings (social, general and economic sectors) for the year ended March 31, 2018, said the audit on procurement of medicine and equipment by the JKMSC revealed delays in finalisation of rate contracts and consequent delay or non-procurement of drugs, instruments, machinery and equipment, thereby defeating the purpose of creation of the company.
“Audit also came across instances of non-levy of liquidated damages of Rs 7.92 crore for delayed supplies, undue favour to a supplier by rejecting the seven bidders and procuring suture items at negotiated rates for Rs 25.48 crore from the eighth bidder, non-operationalisation of 102 Ambulance Service over a period of more than three years despite receiving the fund of Rs 3.18 crore and non-observance of prescribed procedure for empanelment of testing laboratories leading to extra-expenditure of Rs 9.47 lakh,” the report, tabled in Parliament last week, said.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, the report said, the purpose of upgradation of Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) in the Health and Medical Education Department was not achieved as all the super specialties had not been fully established.
“Some medical services/facilities installed had not functioned and remained out of order rendering expenditure of Rs 8.57 crore incurred thereon unfruitful and Rs 3.12 crore wasteful. Out of 592 medical equipment procured for two GMCs, 336 medical equipment (57 per cent) costing Rs 40.97 crore were not traceable/non-available, not installed, non-functional or had got damaged in floods,” the report said.
The CAG said there were shortages of trained specialist doctors and nursing and paramedical staff and technicians in both the super specialty hospitals.
It said the failure to seek prior permission from the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, before taking up the construction works of integrated Ayush Hospital and Wellness Centre at Harwan in Srinagar, resulted in unfruitful expenditure of Rs 3 crore, blocking of Rs 3.38 crore and creation of liability of Rs 2.75 crore.
“Failure of J&K Health Service to renew the licenses of the nursing homes or clinical establishments and recover the licenses renewal fee resulted in unauthorised functioning of these establishments and non-recovery of revenue of Rs 0.44 crore,” it said.
The CAG said the test-check of the records of 94 units out of 402 auditable units of Commercial Taxes (Sales tax/Value Added Tax), State Excise, Motor Vehicles and Law Departments conducted during the year 2017-18 showed under assessment/evasion of tax/irregular allowance of Input Tax Credit aggregating Rs 377.77 crore in 33,237 cases.
“During the year, the departments concerned accepted under assessment and other deficiencies of Rs 2.22 crore involved in 97 cases, which were pointed out in audit during 2017-18 and earlier years. The departments collected/recovered Rs 53.38 lakh in 19 cases pertaining to audit findings of previous years,” the report said.
It said the failure of Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited to deposit the advance tax on taxable income during the assessment year 2015-16, in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act resulted in avoidable interest payment of Rs 3.26 crore.
The lax supervision and control in the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited over the execution of a contract for Design, Engineering and Commissioning of 48 MW Lower Kalnai Hydel Electric Project led to unfruitful expenditure of Rs 25.30 crore, it said, adding the company could not generate 219.30 million units of energy per annum and had to pay an interest of Rs 17.49 crore on the term loan availed for the project.
The company also failed to sequence the payment of consultancy fee with the progress of the contract which led to avoidable expenditure of Rs 6.57 crore.
“Despite encashment of bank/performance guarantee of Rs 79.20 crore, the Company suffered a minimum loss of Rs 11.20 crore”.
On performance audit of imposition and collection of taxes on vehicles, the report said, the shortfall in revenue collection vis-a-vis targets fixed during 2013-14 to 2016-17 was between 11 per cent and 25 percent, respectively.
“Targets fixed for 2017-18, though achieved up to the level of 135 percent, were far less in comparison to targets of the previous two years,” it said.
The CAG said the certificate of registration in respect of 21,918 private vehicles registered with eight (out of 11) selected Regional Transport Offices/Assistant Regional Transport Offices (RTOs/ ARTOs) have not been renewed after prescribed time frame which involved revenue implication of Rs 6.12 crore.
It said the incorrect application of rates of temporary registration fee by 91 registered dealers led to short recovery of fee of Rs 3.54 crore.