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CAG pulls up Odisha govt for "improper" financial management

 Pulling up the Odisha government for delay in incorporating disaster management into the development planning process, CAG has said there was "improper" financial management as Rs 29.46 crore was sanctioned for disaster preparedness in violation of norms.



Bhubaneswar: Pulling up the Odisha government for delay in incorporating disaster management into the development planning process, CAG has said there was "improper" financial management as Rs 29.46 crore was sanctioned for disaster preparedness in violation of norms.

The state government failed to incorporate disaster management into the development planning process due to non-preparation of State Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) till July 2013 as envisaged in the Disaster Management Act 2005, said a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on General and Social Sector for the year ended March 2013 which was tabled in state Assembly today.

While SDMP was prepared in August 2013, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) constituted in October 2010 after a delay of five years of enactment of Disaster Management Act 2005 under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, did not meet till July 2013, it said.

Though early warning mechanism and communication systems for disaster preparedness were in place, the system was not effective due to inadequate staff and non-functioning of machinery, the CAG report said.

Relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction measures had gaps as payments of Rs 49.59 lakh were made for rice without actual distribution, relief materials valuing Rs 10.26 crore were issued without acquittance roll and beneficiary lists, and rice got damaged due to improper storage, it said.

There was delay of six to nine months in providing relief to affected people and dal being basic food, was not distributed in relief operation, it said.

During cyclone Phailin of October 2013, though the state government could save human life through early warning system and evacuation of people to safer place, more could have been done to save the livestock which is main livelihood of the affected population, the report said.

Further, post-disaster relief and restoration measures undertaken by the government were not comprehensive, CAG said, adding there were cases of inequitable distribution of relief and short distribution of relief material.

Restoration was not adequate due to delay in restoration of power infrastructure, piped water supply system, roads, irrigation canals and lift irrigation project affecting rabi crops in affected districts. Besides, input subsidy for loss of crop was not paid and artisans were not adequately compensated for loss of livelihood, it said.

There was improper financial management as Rs 29.46 crore was sanctioned from CRF/SDRF towards disaster preparedness in violation of Union government norms, it said.

Utilisation certificates for Rs 1456.42 crore were pending from executing agencies and collectors against the release of fund of Rs 3455.80 crore during 2007-13, it said.

Despite retaining the state disaster response fund (SDRF) in interest bearing public accounts, interest thereon was not paid by state government, the report said.

From Zee News

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