DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 19 (MExN): The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) today informed that the Finance Department on March 31, 2017, vide NO.BUD/8-27/2016-17/ZP/010 through DA no.91 of 2016-17 under demand no. 27- Planning Machinery released Rs 31.90 crore “for activities under Provision to Art 275 (1) of the Constitution of India vide GOI letter no. 11015/4 (8)2016-Grant dated 30.03.2017.”
A press note from the NPRAAF however stated that the department did not mention in the DA as to what “activities” the work entails. Moreover, there was no break-up detail against the amount released, it added.
Further on June 29, 2017, the FD released Rs 19.89 crore vide NO.BUD/8-27/2017-18/QA/660 through DA no. 8 of 2017-18 under demand no. 27 – Planning Machinery “for implementation of various activities under Art 275 (1) of the constitution as per release made by GOI vide F.No.11015/4(8)2016-Grant dated 23.3.2017.”
In this case too, there was no mention of as to what “various activities” mean nor the break-up details for the purported “activities” was given, the forum informed.
It therefore asked the department to furnish break-up details of activities for which an amount of Rs 51.79 crore (Rs 31.90 cr + Rs 19.89 cr) was released. Additionally, it deduced that if the amount Rs 17 crore released on June 16, 2016 is added, the total amount so far released under Article 275 (1) comes to Rs 68.79 crore (Rs 51.79 cr + Rs 17 cr).
“In the light of these issues where funds have been sanctioned under Art 275 (1) and subsequently released by FD but without any break-up details or mention in DAs that the amount came under Art 275 (1), NPRAAF has strongly believes that doubtful expenditures could run into hundreds of crores,” the NPRAAF claimed.
It appealed to the State Vigilance Commission to immediately inquire into the issue relating to Art 275 (1) fund release and bring out the truth in the interest of the public.
While appreciating the response of Finance Department, the NPRAAF also urged the FD to publicly furnish all details of funds received under Art 275 (1).
Terms FD clarification
The NPRAAF meanwhile termed the Finance Department’s clarification on fund drawals for hostel constructions as “flimsy” and “unsatisfactory.”
It questioned that if the amount was released under CSS Grants under Proviso to Article 275 (1) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, as stated by department, “then why the same was not mentioned in the two Drawal Authority for construction of 17 hostels.”
To prove that the amount came under the ambit of Article 275 (1), it asked the department to furnish GoI sanction copy for these two DAs and for construction of four hostels for 400 ST girls.
It pointed out that for any sanction received under Article 275 (1), the department normally releases the amount mentioning the same as in the case of Rs 17 crore which was released dated 16 June 2016 vide NO.BUD/8-27/2016-17/LA/644 with break up details for various projects.
It further questioned “with what exception and intention did the FD not mention in the two DAs that the construction of 17 hostels was under Article 275 (1)?”
“As long as the FD does not furnish GoI sanction copy for these two DAs, the expenditure still remains doubtful,” it observed.
The NPRAAF also wondered as to why the department chose to remain silent on the beneficiary list of CM Corpus Fund against which a total amount of Rs 2.46 crore was released on two occasions.