J&K Govt must take CAG report seriously to end corruption in state

Image Courtesy- Online Media Sources

Despite strong criticism by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India regarding the malfunctioning of the various government departments the message seems to have not reached the new government in power in Jammu and Kashmir. Neither politicians, nor senior bureaucrats have taken cognizance of the CAG report which has put a big question mark on the functioning of the police, and several other departments of the state. With the new government claiming to be committed to end corruption in the state the CAG reports should have come as an eye opener for the state government, and forced it take the irregularities into account. However in reality a number of departments of the state are not prepared to send their annual account for regular audit.

In the past few years, the CAG has pin pointed several issues concerning the state government, particularly the functioning of the departments. It has also reported deficiencies in the manner in which audits are conduced with regard to various plans, programmes, and proposals. Notably the CAG report is not about auditing of programmes but it is about the implementation of the various schemes for the common man. The report by CAG also tells us about wasteful expenditure, and loss of resources which could be used in better ways. The CAG report has pointed out several irregularities in the departments which have been accentuated by lack of resources. It has been pointed out that several irregularities have seeped into the system and the is need to look deeper into the malaise.

The problem however arises because of the non-serious approach of the state government towards these CAG reports presumably because there is no punitive action even if recommendations are not adhered to by the agencies. The officials in various departments think that CAG audits are only meant to flag the problems but no remedial measures are required to make amends. This is despite the fact that majority of the autonomous bodies and corporations get massive state funding and are accountable to the public. Despite this there is reluctance to submit accounts which clearly sends the message that there is something fishy going in these departments. CAG is a constitutional body with a specific scope of operations. It has in the past dug serious cases of corruption and wastage of public money in several states of the country. If the Mufti government is serious about clean governance then it should take the CAG seriously or else corruption will continue to prosper in the state.

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