Dehradun : Uncomfortable realities recently came to light in the peaceful and gorgeous state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. During the fiscal year 2021–2022, a startling Rs 18,341 crore in financial irregularities was discovered inside a number of government departments, shocking the executive branch. The extent of the mismanagement is shown by this disclosure, which was made public in the Annual Accounts Report, and it also emphasizes the serious repercussions for both the state’s finances and its residents.
Financial Mismanagement’s Burden
Drainage of Government Revenue
These financial errors have significant and far-reaching effects. Because of the officers’ deeds or inactions, the government has suffered a staggering direct income loss of Rs 2,297 crore. The state’s capacity to finance necessary services and infrastructure projects will be severely impacted by this enormous financial blow.
The Center of Inconsistencies: Power Corporations
The electricity firms have been found to have the biggest amount of these irregularities—a startling Rs 16,129.30 crore. This information immediately affects the state’s energy sector, which is essential to its growth and survival, which is why it is quite concerning.
The Doiwala Sugar Mill Scandal is Revealed by a Special Audit
An additional Rs 1,529.98 crore worth of financial irregularities were discovered during a special audit of the Doiwala sugar factory. The matter becomes much more complicated as a result of this discovery, which highlights a widespread issue within numerous agencies under the supervision of the government.
Widespread Issue: Dispersed Irregularities
Although the electricity companies are the main source of financial mismanagement, many other departments also exhibit irregularities:
Mandi Committee: 409 million rupees
Schools: Rs. 134.32 billion
Colleges not run by the government: Rs. 79.68 lakh
District Mineral Foundation: 49.49 million rupees
Authorities for Development: Rs. 12.23 billion
Municipal Corporations: 32.40 million rupees
Municipalities: 16.64 billion rupees
Amount for Nagar Panchayats: 20.35 crore
District Panchayats: 2.87 million rupees
Transport Corporation: 3.58 billion rupees
These astounding figures paint a dismal image of financial management across the board for Uttarakhand’s many governmental organizations.
The disastrous repercussions
Unreported Funds and Breaches of Norms
In addition to defrauding the government of Rs 2,297 crore, the departments involved in these anomalies also left a sizable sum of Rs 5,377.22 crore outstanding and unrecovered. This lack of accountability raises serious questions and suggests a problem with financial supervision.
Breach of auditing standards
The public’s confidence in the administration of public finances has been further eroded by the worrisome Rs 6,016.24 crore that has been spent in breach of audit standards. The legitimacy of governmental institutions is damaged by these transgressions.
The report also emphasizes objections totaling Rs. 4,245.42 crore, highlighting how urgent it is to address these anomalies.
Inaccuracies and misappropriation
The long list of anomalies includes, among other things, the misuse of funds totaling Rs. 57.27 crore, the improper procurement of Rs. 54.93 crore, and the execution of programs costing Rs. 220.13 crore. When taken as a whole, these differences have a negative impact on the state’s financial stability.
Power Sector Problems
Losses of UPCL
The Roorkee-Haridwar region has seen the most severe losses for the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) in recent years. Power supply problems in this region cost UPCL Rs. 704 crore in losses during a three-year period. The main reason for this crippling financial loss is power theft.
Unsettled Accounts of UJVNL
On the other hand, the location of the land for which Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL) paid Orissa Integrated Power Limited Rs. 35.93 crore in 2013 for land purchase is unknown. In addition, Rs. 75.55 crore is owed to stakeholders and contractors, raising significant financial concerns.
Unpaid bills and royalties
The financial web is further complicated by the fact that Ureda owes the corporation Rs. 29.66 crore and UPCL owes the General Provident Fund (GPF) Rs. 41.08 crore. The Irrigation Department owes the Maneri Bhali-II project 60.84 crore rupees in unpaid expenses.
Unpaid cess and royalties
Additionally, the government has not received repayment of a 128.85 crore interest-free loan from five hydroelectric projects. Royalties and cess of Rs. 526.44 crore that are due to the government are still unpaid. To UPCL, UJVNL owes Rs. 781.65 crore in royalties, cess, and energy costs.
Electricity duty and the Green Energy Cess
Due to UPCL’s conduct, the state exchequer has lost Rs. 31.03 crore in the form of electricity duty and the green energy cess. The government’s capacity to invest in renewable and environmentally acceptable energy sources is hampered by these financial losses.