CAG Report: TDP Govt Deferred Liabilities, Put Pension Scheme At Risk

 - Sakshi Post

AMARAVATI: Shocking facts were revealed about the previous TDP government's inaction relating to the National Pension Scheme during the fifth and final day of the Andhra Pradesh Winter Assembly Session on Friday.

The Chandrababu-led government had failed to transfer Rs 663.63 crore belonging to government employees under the National Pension System to the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) in 2018-19, which would have risked the failure of the pension scheme. The State Finance Audit Report for 2018-19 by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, which was tabled in the Assembly, showed that the previous TDP government deferred the current liabilities to the future years and by not transferring the amount to the NSDL, it created interest liabilities. It further pointed out that the previous regime incorrectly used the funds of government employees, which created an uncertainty in the rate of return to them and avoidable financial liability to the government. 

The government investments in statutory corporations, companies and others amounted to Rs 9,500.51 crore as on March 31, 2019. Out of which, unapportioned investments (between the two States) were Rs 8,401.21 crore (88.43%). The average rate of returns on investments was negligible at 0.01% in 2018-19, far lower than the average rate of interest the government paid on its borrowings (6.37%). 

At the end of the financial year 2018-19, loans and advances given by the government to autonomous bodies and corporations were Rs 31,768 crore. While the average rate of interest on government borrowings was 6.37%, the interest receipts as percentage of outstanding loans and advances was only 0.04%.  

Further, for the government loans amounting to Rs 1,588 crore in 2018-19, did not specify any terms and conditions, like schedule of repayment, rate of interest and number of instalments. The current level of recovery of loans was also low. Only Rs 277 crore was recovered against the estimates of Rs 500 crore in the budget for 2018-19. 

The outstanding debt by the end of the year (Rs 2,57,510 crore) has been increasing every year due to increased borrowings. In 2018-19, the outstanding debt increased by Rs 33,804 crore (15.11%) over previous years and at the same time, the debt repayment decreased from 81.42% in 2017-18 to 71.97% in 2018-19. 

The CAG, in its report, observed that there were personal deposit (PD) accounts with minus and zero balance, and also variation in the number of PD accounts as per the Accountant General recorded and CFMS and recommended the Finance Department to review all the PD accounts and ensure that the amount unnecessary lying in these accounts are immediately remitted to the consolidated fund and all the inoperative deposit accounts are closed. 

Further, it was observed that there were 3,122 Abstract Contingent (AC) bills for Rs 1,299.82 crore pertaining to the financial years from 2003-04 to 2018-19, which were pending for adjustment for want of submission of Detailed Contingent (DC) bills. Advances drawn and not accounted for increases the possibility of wastage/misappropriation/malfeasance etc. Further, out of Rs 1,101.76 crore drawn against AC bills in 2018-19, bills amounting to Rs 337.03 crore were drawn in March 2019 alone.

As per the CAG report, revenue receipts increased by 9.15% and revenue expenditure by 6.07% over 2017-18. The revenue deficit of Rs 13,899 crore in 2018-19 exceeded the ceiling (zero revenue deficit) prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission during the last four years, despite release of post-devolution revenue deficit grant. The fiscal deficit of Rs 35,467 crore increased by 9.53%. The revenue deficit and fiscal deficit, however, were understated by Rs 1,544.78 crore and Rs 462.19 crore respectively due to misclassification, short contribution of government matching share towards NPS and non-discharge of interest liability on untransferred NPS opening balance, the CAG report stated.  (Source:The New Indian Express)

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