Stipend amount of Rs 44.02 lakh disappears

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IMPHAL, Sep 4: A total of Rs 44.02 lakh which should be given to 4,641 destitute children as stipend  by Social Welfare Department was withdrawn but there is no evidence of ever disbursing the same amount.
According to a report published by the Accountant General, the Social Welfare Department withdrew Rs 44.05 lakh in three phases in March 2012, March 2013  and June 2013 for payment of stipends to destitute children under the schemes of Children Home/Creache-Balwadi, Foster Care Home and for setting up of State Resource Centre under the National Mission for Empowerment of Women.
The amount withdrawn by the department’s Director was deposited at UBI, MG Avenue branch but the    department’s cash book said that it was closed on February 21, 2014 with a closing bank balance of Rs 44.05 lakh.
After this, no more entries were made in the cash book. However, the bank statement showed a closing balance of Rs 2900 as on February 21, 2014.
This implied that Rs 44.02 lakh was withdrawn from the bank account without making corresponding entry in the cash book.
Since there was no proof for payment/disbursement of Rs 44.02 lakh, there was discrepancy in the closing cash balance as per bank statement and the cash book.
In July 2015, the department was asked to clarify the discrepancy between the bank balance and cash book balance and furnish details of expenditure, actual payee receipt (APR), beneficiary list etc.
Out of the 4641 children who are eligible to get scholarship/stipend amounting to Rs 32.67 lakh, the department could furnish a list of only 1004 children who were entitled to stipend/scholarship of Rs 7.23 lakh
The department could not furnish copy of APR for actual disbursement of scholarship/stipend and for payment made to third party for the State Resource Centre. As such, the way the amount Rs 44.02 lakh was expended was doubtful, said the AG report.
Social Welfare Department encashed another Rs 10.25 crore for Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) and Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) with objective to improve the health and nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women  and their young infants.
Seven bills were encashed for IGMSY in March 2012 and SNP in January and March 2012.
Scrutiny of the records of the Directorate of Social Welfare showed that Rs 10.25 crore was deposited during January 2012 and March 2012. Out of the amount deposited, the  DDO concerned made total payments of Rs 9.75 crore for IGMSY and SNP during April 2012 to February 2014 through 93 cheques.
However, bank balance available against the particular account at that time was only Rs 6239. This left an unaccounted amount of Rs 50.51 lakh and there were no records to show that the amount has been spent which only implied that the same amount was misappropriated, remarked the AG report.

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