CAG raps govt for causing Rs 245 cr loss in UN peace keeping

Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 18:30

New Delhi: Pulling up the Defence Ministry for Rs 245-crore loss due to UN peace-keeping missions by IAF, the CAG on Friday faulted it for not framing procedures to estimate troop deployment costs and for failing to compensate families of dead or disabled soldiers promptly.
In its report for 2008 released here, the Comptroller
and Auditor General (CAG) said the Defence Ministry had failed
to ensure cost neutrality -- cost of deployment incurred by
the troop contributing country be equal to reimbursement from
UN -- for the IAF. This resulted in lesser reimbursement for
contingents deployed between July 2003 to March 2008 under UN
Peace Keeping missions.

India had entered into five agreements with the UN
between July 2003 and October 2005 for deploying 17 utility
and eight attack helicopters for UN missions in Sudan and
Congo, of which the costs of operating the respective choppers
was agreed at USD 2,100 and USD 2,950 respectively per flying
hour.

But the actual cost of operating the two type of
helicopters were USD 2,496 and USD 6,132 respectively per
flying hour, the CAG report said.

Though the UN agreed to pay higher cost of USD 2,300
per flying hour for the utility helicopters, the Defence
Ministry did not obtain this rate of reimbursement for similar
type of helicopters provided for UN missions in Congo.

Thus, the reimbursement was lower by Rs 205 crore, the
report said.

The CAG also noted that the Overseas Allowance
reimbursed by the UN was less by USD 2.94 million (RS 11.76
crore) in the case of two of the five units checked by the
Auditors.

In addition, the comparison of expected and actual
reimbursement of contingent owned and self-sustenance
equipment revealed that it was less by Rs 28.18 crore in the
case of three missions.

Additionally, unamortized and hidden costs relating to
training of troops for three to six months, depreciation of
major equipment inducted in the UN Missions, reimbursement for
equipment under wet lease were not completed and claimed for,
it said.

Despite deploying armed forces for over five decades
in UN peace-keeping missions, the CAG said the Defence
Ministry "had not framed control procedures for either
estimating troop costs or for monitoring the claims of
deceased and disabled soldiers."

Since 1950 commitment in Korea, India had lost over
100 troops in 43 UN peace-keeping missions. Though USD 50,000
one-time lumpsum compensation per deceased and a percentage of
that amount for the disabled were received on time from the
UN, the government delayed payment to the families.

It also noted that there were 36 casualties and 17
disability cases of Indian soldiers in UN peace-keeping
missions between 1990 and 2007.

The payment to families of 20 soldiers, who died
during 1990-95 was released by government, after delay of 12
to 17 years.

In six cases during 2000-01, where soldiers died,
payments were released after five to seven years, the report
said.

The UN, the report noted, had reimbursed USD 1.8
million to India relating to 53 casualties among its troops
between November 1995 and March 2008.

However, the Audit noticed that in these cases, the
affected personnel or families were not paid a total of Rs
4.28 crore as interest.

Besides, due to the delay in initiation of
compensation claims by India, the Defence Ministry could not
recover the interest worth Rs 1.38 crore from the UN.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 18:30

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