Home » Fisheries Director withdrew Rs. 26.64 Lakhs violating Finance Department order

Fisheries Director withdrew Rs. 26.64 Lakhs violating Finance Department order

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Fisheries Director withdrew Rs. 26.64 Lakhs violating Finance Department order

In a blatant violation of government order, the Department of Fisheries withdrew Rs. 26.64 lakh for six works which was meant for payments to contractors. Out of the total amount, Rs. 16.73 lahks which was sanctioned for two works was suspected to have been misappropriated as the amount drawn was neither supported by APR nor proof provided.
According to the Rule 290 of the Central Treasury Rules (CTR), as adopted by the State of Manipur, states that no money shall be drawn from the Treasury unless required for immediate disbursement or in anticipation of demand and to prevent the lapse of budget grants.
Further, as per the order dated August 21, 2010, of the Finance Department, Government of Manipur, Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) bank accounts shall not be used for any transaction under any circumstances, other than salary and personal entitlements. Any violation of these instructions will invite disciplinary action against the concerned DDOs and Heads of Department, apart from culpability under Manipur Public Servants Personal Liability Act, 2006.
During the scrutiny of records of the Directorate of Fisheries for the period from April 2016 to July 2018, it was revealed that 14 work orders costing 58.90 lakh were sanctioned and issued for different works for the construction of ponds, reservoirs, training halls, etc. The works were supposed to be executed during the period from January 20, /01/2016 to 12/08/2018 and to be completed within one month to 10 months.
Further, as per clause 11 of the work orders, payments were to be released only on completion of works as per specifications without any consideration for an extension of the time allowed in the work orders.
In violation of rules and existing instructions of the Finance Department, the entire amount of Rs. 58.90 lakh was withdrawn against 14 works from the Imphal Treasury in advance of the actual requirement and deposited into DDO’s account on March 31, 2018, to avoid a lapse of funds, while not a single work that had commenced was completed.
Further, it was found that the Director, Department of Fisheries, withdrew Rs 26.64 lakh out of Rs. 58.90 lakh, Rs. 16.73 lakh for two works, and Rs. 9.91 lakh for four works from the same DDO’s accounts against six works on April 12, 2018 in violation of the Finance Department Order issued via Memo No. 9/2/2007-FR (Misc) dated March 13, 2008.
It also further noticed that Rs.16.73 lakh was shown to have been paid in cash on April 12, 2018, against two works. viz., (i) providing the IEI and ceiling of the training hall at the directorate and (ii) construction of a water reservoir tank at the Directorate of Fisheries, Lamphel though these works were still incomplete.
Moreover, there was no evidentiary proof of actual payment in the form of a payment order or APR for verification. In the absence of any evidence, the payment as shown in the cash book for work was doubtful. The remaining funds amounting to Rs. 9.91 lakh, drawn for the other four works, were deposited back into the government accounts under Major Head 8449 on April 12, 2018 itself.
The Fisheries Department stated that Rs.26.64 lakh was drawn against six incomplete works through oversight without a pay order and proper verification. While Rs. 9.91 lakh was already deposited into government accounts; the balance amount of Rs. 16.73 lakh will be deposited back into the DDO’s account.
Further, despite the assurance of the department, Rs. 16.73 lakhs have not been deposited into the government account until April 2022.
The state government should conduct an investigation into the suspected misappropriation at the earliest, and strict action, including the filing of an FIR, if necessary, should be initiated against the delinquent officials for misappropriation of government funds.

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