Home/ News / India/  CAG pulls up BMC as irregularities found in Mumbai civic body's account books

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled up BMC as it found irregularities in the account books of Mumbai's civic body.

A report by CAG on Saturday highlighted the lack of transparency and planning as well as the careless use of funds by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The auditing body also flagged concerns about not sharing Covid-19 management expenditure records.

The CAG report scrutinised the expenditure of 12,023.88 crore made by nine departments of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation between 28 November 2019 and 31 October 2022.

The auditing body said that several works were awarded without tendering or choosing proper contractors, including one case of an influent pumping station.

The CAG report also stated that records relating to the expenditure for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic were not produced despite repeated requests to the civic body by the Office of the Accountant General (Audit)-I, Maharashtra.

It said the BMC did not allow inquiry into the expenditure of funds to the tune of 3538.73 crore citing the pandemic act.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the probe was restricted to only 12,000 crore and more irregularities would have been unearthed if the entire functioning of the civic body was taken into account.

Further, Fadnavis said the special audit report will be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature and appropriate action would be taken if any instance of corruption is found.

The audit observed that BMC awarded 20 works across two departments valuing 214.48 crore without inviting tenders, which was against the Manual of Procurement of the civic body as well as established vigilance guidelines. Further, in 64 works costing 4,755.94 crores across five departments, formal agreements were not executed between the contractors and BMC, in the absence of which the civic body would not be able to take any legal recourse against these contractors in the event of default, the report said.

Moreover, in 13 works costing 3,355.57 crore across three departments, third-party auditors were not appointed to ascertain the quality and quantity of works executed by the contractors, which points to scant respect for established procedures and weak internal controls in BMC, the report said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray hit back at the Maharashtra government over the CAG report. Thackeray's party controlled the BMC for 25 years. He requested that CAG should also audit Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nashik, and Nagpur municipal corporations. Thackeray's reference to the civic bodies of Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali civic bodies was aimed at attacking Chief minister Eknath Shinde who indirectly controlled them, while the Nagpur civic body was controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Updated: 26 Mar 2023, 10:02 AM IST
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