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21 Jun 2017

Special audit of GTA: Cash transactions under scanner

Special audit of GTA: Cash transactions under scannerPritesh Basu । MP । 20 June 2017 | Kolkata: After getting the details on money drawn from the state treasury, the special audit team is emphasising on "cash transactions" of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
The GTA has so far received a total of around Rs 1,900 crore. It includes a fund of Rs 900 crore allotted by the state government, Rs 600 crore from the Centre and rest of the money was granted as a special fund as per the demand of the Gorkha Janmukti Motcha-run GTA to undertake different developmental projects.

According to an official of the state Finance department, it is not a difficult task to ascertain whether the money issued through cheques was utilised properly and reached the end beneficiaries. But the main thing that the team is looking at is to find out the total amount of transaction that took place in cash.

Explaining the process, the official of the state Finance department elaborated that the Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS) was not in place then. So there was provision for an autonomous body to make payments either through cheque or cash. But the cash book had to be maintained for such payments at their end.

With several documents related to implementation of projects using the allotted money and at the same unavailability of concerned officials posted in the offices there, members of the audit team are taking some time to complete the assessment to ascertain the exact amount of cash transaction.

"The amount of money released from the state's treasury to the local fund of the GTA is always available. But the thing that matters is whether the fund has been utilised properly or not. So performance audit and compliance audit need to be carried out," the official said, adding that the performance audit will help to assess whether a project has actually been carried out with proper utilisation of the allotted funds.

For example, it may be shown that a house has been built using a certain amount of money of the allotted fund for a particular beneficiary. The performance audit will help to find out whether the work has actually being carried out or "it has just taken place on paper", the official said adding that besides the GTA members, the role of the concerned officials who had allowed cash transactions, on whatever circumstances, will also be under scanner.

Now, with implementation of the Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS) it would no more be possible to carry on with the system of cash transaction as payment goes directly to the bank account of the agencies carrying out the work.

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