Margao: The Seraulim gram sabha on Sunday approved the Audit Report for the year 2017-18 without discussing even one sentence from the report even though the report had some negative observations about the panchayat functioning that year when it had two sarpanchas and five different secretaries for one year.
In the first place, the auditors pointed out that the taxes paid have not been paid by the panchayat to the concerned authorities from time to time and asked that the amount be submitted to the government treasury immediately.
More seriously, the auditors pointed out that grants amounting to Rs 25.46 lakh have not been utilized by the panchayat within the stipulated time. This includes Rs 13,602 grants received under the 13th Finance commission and Rs 10.50 lakh received as Golden Jubilee grants.
While there was a variation of only Rs 3.81 lakh in the estimated receipts of the budget for the year, the variation in expenditure was Rs 42.94 lakh and the auditors termed the budget “unrealistic/fictitious”.
The auditors pointed out that the panchayat did not incorporate the terms and conditions in the agreement for the market fee collection nor were the names of the Sarpanch and the successful bidder written on the agreement due to which the agreement was not considered valid and asked the panchayat to avoid such “serious lapses” in the future.
The Seraulim panchayat collected Rs 3.98 lakh as construction fee from the 29 licenses it issued during the year of audit and further observed that there are 23 illegal constructions pending in the village.
The panchayat did not prepare the Annual Action Plan for the year 2017-18 which had to be submitted to the Zilla Panchayat but did prepare the Administrative Report that was submitted to the BDO.
The panchayat has 15 cases pending in the court and had spent Rs 49,000 on legal fees which the auditors pointed out exceeds the annual limit. Though the panchayat had undertaken only none work in the year under scrutiny, various discrepancies like when the work started and when it was completed were not written nor was the completion certificate found in the file.
The Auditors noted that the panchayat had not constituted any of the committees it is supposed to constitute under the Panchayat Act but more seriously neither the BDO nor the Extension Officer has conducted any inspection of the panchayat. [H]