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7 Jun 2017

Govt orders GTA audit

TT, June 6: The state government today set the ball rolling for a special audit of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-led GTA's handling of finances, a day after Mamata Banerjee had announced her decision.
Sources said the special audit had been ordered and finance secretary H.K. Dwivedi had been instructed to carry it out.
Although no specific deadline has been set for the submission of the audit report, sources said the finance secretary was expected to complete the process before the polls to the GTA Sabha, likely to take place in July or August.
"The chief minister has ordered the special audit. The Morcha-led body has received over Rs 600 crore from the Centre and over Rs 900 crore from the state since 2012. The body has not furnished suitable documentation reporting its utilisation of the funds," said a senior state government official.
According to him, an audit carried out in the past under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India's office had pointed out several loopholes in the handling of funds by the GTA, but no action has been initiated.
Mamata had, at a government programme in Mirik yesterday, announced the special audit to examine the utilisation of funds received from the governments by the GTA.
"Nobody will be spared," she had warned.
The Morcha, however, has challenged the government to prove the alleged irregularities and welcomed the audit.
"This is not the first audit. There have been many in the past. They will not be able to find anything wrong, because no wrong has been done," said Gurung.
Nabanna sources said the audit was necessary for the sake of transparency and accountability.
"The timing of the audit, with polls round the corner, could be construed as politically motivated, but the GTA should have utilised the funds properly and furnished evidence of the same," said a Nabanna source.

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