CAG Red Flags Rs 3.52 Cr Financial Help To 64 ‘Ineligible Cases’

Srinagar- The latest audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for the financial year ending March, 2019 has noted that neither survey for identification of genuine displaced persons of “Pakistan controlled Jammu and Kashmir (PcJK)” was carried out nor the database was maintained for establishing the identities of displaced persons including families residing outside Jammu and Kashmir.

As per CAG, the failure in maintaining a proper database for the displaced persons of PcJK has also led to failure in verification of payments to beneficiaries in the audit creating strong apprehensions that the payment could’ve been made to “ineligible” persons.

Pertinently, under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), a package assistance of 2,000 crore from the GoI for a one-time settlement was to be provided to 36,384 families displaced from Pakistan controlled Jammu and Kashmir (PcJK) in 1947 and from Chhamb during the years 1965 and 1971.

The audit has raised serious doubts on the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department for its failure of assistance for the betterment of the PcJK and Chhamb displaced families. “The requisite infrastructure had not been provided by the Department as envisaged in the scheme guidelines.” reads the CAG report.

Dwelling further details on the issue, CAG has said that sixty four ineligible or doubtful cases were paid financial assistance of 3.52 crore and in 40 cases involving 80 applicants, copies of same documents were used twice and assistance had been claimed twice separately by individuals by splitting families or by misrepresentation of facts, “which led to undue/wrong payment of 2.31 crore”.

Revealing more details, CAG’s audit report has said that analysis of data collected in respect of 460 cases, out of 2730 test checked cases revealed that legal heir certificates from Assistant Commissioners (Revenue)/ Tehsildars in support of claims had been sought in 75 cases (16 per cent) only.

“However, in respect of the remaining 385 cases (84 per cent) either documents like Court decree (34 per cent), Power of Attorney (30 percent) and affidavits (11 per cent) had been sought or no documentary proof (9 per cent) had been obtained. The Department had not put in place a robust mechanism for identification of legal heirs of displaced persons and no proper procedure was adopted.”

This non formulation of uniform procedure, as per CAG, has resulted in gaps in implementation of the project.

The audit report has further said that the irregularities had resulted in recommendation of ten ineligible/ doubtful cases, who had claimed themselves as Displaced Persons of Chhamb (1965/ 1971), involving a financial assistance of 54.96 lakh by the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu.

The Audit has further noticed that in 201 cases (out of 256 cases) power of attorney from legal heirs(in reference to Chhamb displaced persons) was found attached only in 29 cases(14 per cent), in 154 cases (77 per cent) involving payment of 7.47 crore, only affidavits of legal heirs were on record and in 18 cases (nine per cent) involving payment of 0.80 crore, no document was attached to establish the genuineness of claimants.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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