Citizens' Issues
Diversion of funds, ineligible beneficiaries in JNNURM: CAG

The CAG pointed out that there were eight cases of diversion of funds in Urban Infrastructure projects in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh

 
New Delhi: Diversion of funds totalling nearly Rs115 crore and ineligible beneficiaries getting benefits were among the several lapses found by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in implementation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Centre's flagship urban infrastructure development scheme, reports PTI.
 
Government auditor CAG also said that a few cases of unauthorised and irregular expenditure and even instances of undue favours to contractors have come to light.
 
The CAG in its report on "Performance Audit of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM)" tabled in Parliament on Thursday said only 22 of the 1,517 housing projects approved under the scheme were completed by the due date of March 2011.
 
Noting that the Union ministries were "not equipped" to monitor a project of this magnitude, the CAG said the Centre must identify the deficiencies in monitoring the scheme both at the central and state level and address them during the next two years.
 
The 103-page report with annexure observed that a crucial objective of bringing about reforms in the governance of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) could not be achieved through the scheme.
 
"We observed that a total of 1,517 and 1,998 housing and infrastructure projects respectively were approved for implementation between 2005 and 2011. However, as on 31 March 2011, in respect of the housing projects, only 22 of the 1517 approved projects were completed," the CAG report said.
 
"The status of dwelling units within these housing projects was only marginally better but remained low as only 26% of approved dwelling units had been completed. In respect of urban infrastructure projects, we observed that out of the 1,298 projects approved, only 231 projects (18%) were completed," the report stated.
 
The report pointed out that there were eight cases of diversion of funds in Urban Infrastructure projects in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. The amount diverted was Rs114.68 crore, it said.
 
The diversion was for purposes other than those admissible under JNNURM and in some cases even for non-JNNURM purposes. In one instance, funds were utilised for payment of salary to the municipal staff.
 

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Supreme Court seeks AG's help in deciding plea to amend IT Act

While agreeing to hear the case, the apex court said it was considering to take suo motu cognisance of recent incidents of arrest of people and wondered why nobody had so far challenged the particular provision of the IT Act

 
New Delhi: Concerned over recent incidents of arrest of people allegedly for posting offensive messages on social networking sites, the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea to amend the Information Technology (IT) Act and sought Attorney General GE Vahanvati's help in deciding it, reports PTI.
 
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, however, refused the petitioner's plea that no coercive action should be taken by the government authorities against people for posting such messages on websites during pendency of the case.
 
The court posted the matter for further hearing tomorrow.
 
While agreeing to hear the case, the bench said it was considering to take suo motu cognisance of recent incidents of arrest of people and wondered why nobody had so far challenged the particular provision of the IT Act.
 
The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Delhi student Shreya Singhal, who contended that "the phraseology of Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000 is so wide and vague and incapable of being judged on objective standards, that it is susceptible to wanton abuse and hence falls foul of Article 14, 19 (1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution." 
 
She submitted that "unless there is judicial sanction as a prerequisite to the setting into motion the criminal law with respect to freedom of speech and expression, the law as it stands, is highly susceptible to abuse and for muzzling free speech in the country." 
 
The arrests which have been referred to by Shreya in her petition include that of a 21-year-old girl for questioning on Facebook the shutdown in Mumbai after Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death, which was 'liked' and shared by her friend, who was also arrested.
 
Meanwhile, the government today issued guidelines that state approval from an officer of DCP level at rural areas and IG level in metros will have to be sought before registering complaints under section 66A of the IT Act.
 

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No official reports of black money of companies in foreign banks: Government

In a written reply Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam said there are no official or authentic reports of large scale stashing of black money belonging to corporate houses in foreign banks

 
New Delhi: There are no "official" reports of large-scale stashing of black money belonging to corporate houses in foreign banks, Parliament was informed on Thursday, reports PTI.
 
"No...there are no official or authentic reports of large scale stashing of black money belonging to corporate houses in foreign banks," Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
 
He further said that whenever any credible information on black money is received, appropriate action under the Direct Tax laws is taken to bring to tax any undisclosed amounts.
 
In another reply, the minister said the government has received information under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) from France about some bank accounts held by certain individuals and non-individuals in the HSBC Bank, Geneva.
 
"Based on the information received from the Government of France, appropriate action under the Direct Tax laws has been taken to bring to tax any undisclosed amounts in such cases," Palanimanickam said.
 
He, however said under confidentiality clause of the DTAC, the information received can be used only for the purposes specified therein.
 

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COMMENTS

NSriramamurty

4 years ago

While all other Countries in the Globe are Using the Information from France & switzerland to trace out How the Account Holders Got the Money and whether any Illegal activity is involved and Prosecuting them,Indian Authorities are telling Stories to Indians that GOI got the information only on Assurance to forign Countries that GOI do utilise the Information ONLY to Recover some Income TAX from them without revealing the Account Holders Names & their Amounts stashed outside.While All Indias fear that it ill--gotten Money involves BLACK Money & Illegal Money , GOI does look into that Angle at all - Obviouly to Protect those Individuals for Mutual Benefit.
disgusting Situation.

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