DEHRADUN: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has recommended the formulation of a plan to make Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) viable in its state finances audit report (SFAR) that was tabled in the budget session of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.
The UPCL is the government agency responsible for the power supply in the hill state.
Pointing out that out of a total loss of Rs 171.82 crore incurred by three state public sector enterprises (SPSEs), a loss of Rs 151.75 crore was contributed by UPCL alone. The report also recommended ensuring timely submission of financial statements of SPSEs.
This report on the finances of the government of Uttarakhand is being brought out to assess the financial performance of the State during the year 2020-21 vis-à-vis the budget, Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement (MTFPS) and recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.
According to the report, as of March 31, 2021, there were nine inactive SPSEs – including two under liquidation – for the last seven to 34 years. No decision for their operation or closure was taken by the state government.
Out of the total profit of Rs 276.58 crore earned by 11 SPSEs, 98.29 per cent was contributed by five SPSEs.
The report further ‘recommended’ that the state government should be more realistic in its budgetary estimates and ensure efficient control mechanisms to curtail savings and excess expenditure.
The report revealed that in the education sector, expenditure as a proportion of aggregate expenditure in the state was higher than in the north eastern and Himalayan states during the financial year (FY) 2020-21. However, in the health sector, it was below the north eastern and Himalayan states’ average during the year 2020-21.
“The State may increase the allocation of resources on health sector so as to bring it at par with NE & Himalayan States’ average,” recommended the CAG report.
Further pointing out a lapse on the part of the state government, the report added that the state government has yet not fully implemented the notified ‘Indian Government Accounting Standards’ in the state, thereby, compromising the quality of financial reporting.
“The State Government should take steps to fully implement the Indian Government Accounting Standards in the State to improve the quality of financial reporting,” the report stated.
The four-day-long budget session, which concluded on Friday, witnessed 22 hours and 43 minutes of business with 573 questions, four amendment bills along with debates and discussions on budget as well as diverse issues related to public welfare.