Par panel slams DoPT for non-utilisation of funds

The Committee took serious note of the fact that the reasons furnished by the Ministry for reducing expenditure at RE stage for various plan schemes.

New Delhi: Noting low level of expenditure on key schemes, a Parliamentary Committee on Monday came down heavily on the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and its allied organisation like the CBI, CVC and CIC.

The Panel in its report tabled in parliament today also expressed its anguish over the fact that the Ministry`s latest annual report did not have any reference to the Lokpal Bill 2011.

Besides, it has also suggested that the Government consider an anti-corruption legislation to cover private persons and bribe givers.

In a detailed explanatory note furnished by the Ministry, it has been stated that for the year 2009-10, plan allocation for the scheme `Propagation of Right to Information Act was reduced from Rs 14.16 crore to Rs 10.66 crore in Revised Estimates 2009-10 due to slow pace of expenditure, non-receipt of utilisation certificates from some state governments and that unutilised surplus funds of Rs 0.35 crore could not be surrendered in time leading to lapse of funds.

During 2010-11, plan allocation for the scheme was reduced from Rs 19 crore to Rs 11.35 crore in RE 2010-11 for the same reason as also in 2011-12 during which the plan allocation was also reduced from Rs 51.60 crore to Rs 24.60 crore in RE 2011-12.

The Committee took serious note of the fact that the reasons furnished by the Ministry for reducing the expenditure at the RE stage for various plan schemes have remained almost the same during the past three years.

"The Committee wonders why this trend was not noticed and arrested by taking appropriate remedial steps," it said and directed the Ministry to ensure "optimum utilisation of available funds".
Noting that the corruption is deep rooted in the society which needs serious and immediate attention, the Committee felt that there was need to bring about a shift in the mindset of the public servants so that they opt to remain honest and discreet in their functioning.

"For the purpose of meeting the objective of elimination of corruption in the society, Government may also consider bringing even private individuals under the fold of a suitable anti-corruption legislation because if bribe givers are left scot-free, it may be a difficult task to exercise a check on the bribe seekers," it said in the report tabled today in the Parliament.

Such steps, the Committee felt, were imminent seeing the pervasive public sentiments of being fed up of this menace.

"The Committee would like all these steps to be taken in a definite time frame as much delay has already occurred," the report said.

It was also anguished over the vacant posts in various cadres of All India Services and in CBI, CVC and CIC and told the Ministry to take steps on war-footing level to provide necessary manpower and infrastructure supports to these organisations.

The panel has also recommended to the government to constitute an anti-human trafficking cell under the control of CBI besides imparting stress management training to the personnel of the investigating agency.