CAG raps MEA for its Paris project
New Delhi: Rapping Ministry of External
Affairs for delaying work in Indian Chancery in Paris, the
Comptroller and Auditor General said it has blocked capital of
Rs 18 crore for past five years apart from the Mission
incurring a recurring liability of Rs 26 lakh per year.
"Delay in implementation of project has blocked the
capital of Rs 18 crore on purchase of new building which has
been lying unused since 2006. The Mission has also been forced
to incur a recurring liability of Rs 26 lakh per annum on rent
of the Space Wing which was envisaged to be relocated in the
new building after renovation," the CAG said in its report.
Despite audit findings reported earlier and assurances
given by the ministry to Public Accounts Committee, it was
noticed during audit of the Mission at Paris that it took
more than four years to complete the formalities in awarding
the contract for renovation work, it said.
The CAG also highlighted that delay in renovating
properties within a reasonable time frame led to "avoidable
expenditure" on rent.
In another case, it noted that the chancery-annexe
project in Budapest conceived in 1996 took 14 years to
materialise. "In particular, failure to firm up the floor area
of the project in 2001 itself ultimately placed an additional
financial burden of Hungarian Forint (HUF) 164.02 million (Rs
3.62 crore) on the exchequer," it said.