Assam: Himanta Biswa halts pay of 7 officials over non-submission of utilization certificate

Assam: Himanta Biswa halts pay of 7 officials over non-submission of utilization certificate

GUWAHATI, DEC 6, 2019:

The Assam Finance Department has stopped the salaries of seven Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) for non-submission of utilization certificates for grants amounting to Rs 622.28 Crore that was released by the department since the 2001-02 fiscal.

Finance Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet said, "Adhering to principles of good governance and zero tolerance against non-compliance, I am glad to share that in a historic move Government of Assam has stopped salaries of 6 DDOs for non submission of 58 utilization certificates."

The state finance department also directed the concerned treasury officers not to honour their salary bills without leave from Finance (Audit and Fund) Department.

The state finance department said in an order issued on Thursday, "The Comptroller and Auditor General of India [CAG] in its report on state finance for the financial year [ending March 31, 2018] has pointed out that there is a significant number of outstanding utilisation certificates pending against grants released to various departments since 2001-02. As per report, for the year 2016-17, the total number of pending utilisation certificates was 1,782 amounting to Rs 12,282.52 crore across 53 departments. Such huge pendency of utilisation certificate with the departments reflects of poor compliance with regard to financial norms by the administrative departments and is a matter of grave concern for the state government."

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"With a view to addressing this problem of timely submission of utilisation certificates, finance department held a series of review meeting to impress upon the departments/DDOs for immediate submission of pending utilisation certificates. The Assam finance minister assured in the Assam Assembly that pendency of utilisation certificates for the year 2016-17 would reduce to NIL by September 15, 2019. Subsequently, finance department undertook multiple conciliation camps and specific reviews towards this end," the order copy of the Assam finance department stated.

It also said, "The accountant general [accounts], Assam provided necessary assistance to various administrative departments in submission of the utilisation certificates. Despite such efforts, reviews and sensitisation by finance department, seven Drawing and Disbursing Officers under six administrative departments could not bring down their pendency to NIL, although time for submission of utilisation certificate was extended up to November 25, 2019."

"Considering all aspects and in pursuance of the minutes of the meeting held on November 8, 2019, the salaries of the defaulting DDOs are hereby stopped forthwith," the order copy of the state finance department said.

The order copy of the state finance department also stated that the restriction shall be revoked once completion of pendency position of utilisation certificates against the seven DDOs is done.

Source: IT

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