J&K Govt Gave Rs 1.73 Cr to 3 Pvt Schools: CAG

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government diverted Rs 1.73 crore special plan assistance from Centre for state-run schools to three private educational institutions in Kashmir and Ladakh regions resulting in “misutilisation” of funds, the Comptroller amd Auditor General said.

“The payment of unjustified cash assistance to (three) private schools from out of special plan assistance from Government of India for improvement and upgradation of infrastructure in government schools resulted in misutilisation of Rs 1.73 crores,” Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the year ended March 31, 2014 

Rs 1 crore was disbursed to Tyndale Bisco School, Tangmarg (Baramulla district), Rs 10 lakhs to Good Shepherd School, Pulwama and Rs 63 lakhs to Islamia Public School, Leh. 

The government in its reply dated May 2014 said that assistance was provided to these two private schools in Kashmir as their buildings were gutted by a mob during turmoil.

The CAG said that the audit scrutiny (December 2011) of the records of the education department showed that the action plans for Rs 60 crores (out of a total Rs 100 crore special assistance plan) inter alia included provision of assistance to the tune of Rs 2.03 crores for reconstruction of three private schools.

A total assistance of Rs 1.73 crores from out of the approved assistance of Rs 2.03 crores was disbursed to these private institutions during March 2011 to May 2012, it said. As per the audit, Tyndale Bisco School apart from getting assistance of Rs 1 crore on July 2011 in FDRs, had also raised an insurance claim of Rs 1.29 crores on March 2012, it said.

The CAG report said that the school was also provided 25 pre-fabricated huts under disaster management programme of the state and school continues to be housed in these huts as on November 2013.

Good Shepherd School was paid cash assistance of Rs 10 lakhs without carrying proper survey of damage, it said adding that the school was shifted to another place after the disturbance and had not returned to its old location. In respect of the third beneficiary, Islamia Public School Leh, the CAG report said it was seen that the area in which school falls was free from any turmoil. The CAG report said “the payment of grant of aid was in contravention to the statement of Joint Director Planning of School Education Department and stated that grant was paid to these schools due to heavy damage to them during turmoil”.

The CAG further said that there was nothing on record to suggest that a representative of the government had monitored proper utilisation of funds on the construction of school buildings by respective school managements. Thus, the payment of assistance meant for the government schools was given to private schools and subsequently non-monitoring of utilisation thereof resulted in misutilisation of Rs 1.73 crores and undue benefit to the recipients of private schools.

Government of India had released a Rs 100 crore under Special Plan Assistance (SPA) for grants to government schools and colleges for improvement and addition to existing infrastructure on September 2010.

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