By S Ahmad (NVONews.Com)
Patna: Bihar Chief mminister Nitish Kumar is under immense pressure over fiscal mismanagement in recent years as the opposition is gunning for a CBI probe into the â€˜possible scamâ€™ of thousands of crores of rupees. Every year in March this allegations crop up which is notorious for so called â€˜March Lootâ€™.
The finance ministry is in the hands of the Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi who belongs to the NDA coalition partner BJP. Mr. Modi and his team of officers were trying hard to sell the theory of fiscal discipline but the report of Comptroller and Auditor General for the financial year 2010-11 has make a big hole in that claim.
Opposition leaders led by RJD Abdul Bari Siddique raised the issue in the Assembly and asked for a CBI probe. Mr. Siddiqui said that the same party asks for CBI probe if CAG points out irregularity at Centre but changes its attitude when it comes to their own government in Bihar. He said that the ruling parties in Bihar holds the proceedings in the Parliament demanding a discussion over CAG report but they are not ready doing the same in Bihar.
On 31st March, known for the â€˜March Lootâ€™, Bihar government officials announced that it had stopped any transaction around 2:00 P.M. to stop any financial irregularity and to enforce fiscal discipline. But on the following days different versions of different officials and then the CAG report has put Bihar government under severe criticism. Bihar government is already facing a case in the Supreme Court over proper bill running into thousands of crores of rupees.
The CAG report says that there are pending bills of RS. 22, 575 crore of rupees. Principal Accountant General R.B. Sinha has termed this as â€˜not normalâ€™. The pending bill are of Detalied Contigent which is generally referred as DC bills.
The CAG report has pointed out that between FY 2002-03 and 2010-11 Rs. 25, 331 crores were spent through Abstract Contingent bills. For every AC bill there has to be a DC bills but the CAG report say that DC bill of only Rs. 2755 crores were submitted.
According to CAG report of the over Rs. 7015 crore of rupees drawn during 2010-11 on AC bills, a sum of Rs. 1749 was drawn during March 2011. Of this Rs. 937 crore were drawn during 2-30 March. This is another example is called â€˜March Lootâ€™ in Bihar.
The Principal Accountant General R.B. Sinha says that CAG does not say that all amounts have been embezzled but if such irregularities continue for so many years then no one can rule out embezzlement. But even during FY 2011-12 this practice of â€˜March Lootâ€™ has not stopped. Bihar government could spend only Rs. 18000 crores till March 26 which is clear indicative of how in the last five days of fiscal year money was withdrawn.
Bihar had the original plan size of Rs. 24000 crore of rupees for FY 2010-12 but later it reduced but even that reduced amount was not utilized.