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Auditor general detects financial irregularities of Rs 108 crore in NRC

Supreme Court monitored NRC exercise started in December 2013. The Office of Accountant General (Audit) had submitted to State Coordinator, NRC the inspection report of the office of State Coordinator, NRC for the period April 1, 2014 to December 3, 2017 with a request to furnish reply to the Inspection Report within one month.

ET Bureau|
Dec 06, 2019, 11.06 AM IST
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Apex Court also required that the best quality HR is deployed. However, in the instances cases, the remuneration to the operators as desired rate was not paid.
GUWAHATI: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has detected financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 108 Crore in the recently updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Supreme Court monitored NRC exercise started in December 2013. The Office of Accountant General (Audit) had submitted to State Coordinator, NRC the inspection report of the office of State Coordinator, NRC for the period April 1, 2014 to December 3, 2017 with a request to furnish reply to the Inspection Report within one month. A copy of the report was sent to Finance Department, Government of Assam.

AG (Audit) report as received by the Finance Department has highlighted a series of financial irregularities and impropriety.

“As the updation of the NRC in Assam is an extremely important and sensitive matter which has to be carried out with the highest levels of diligence, efficiency and honesty, the findings of the AG (Audit) is of serious concern since the findings may be symptomatic of serious procedural loopholes and lapses in the entire NRC updation exercise,” AG observed in its finding a senior official in state finance department said.

Around Rs 905.72 Crore was released between 2013-14 to 2017-18 (upto 12/2017). The report observed, “An amount of Rs 52,07,99,238 was released as Mobilisation Advance (MA) to the System Integrator (SI), Wipro Ltd which led to the loss of interest amounting to Rs.9,49,36,632. Non recovery of penalty led to undue benefit to Wipro and consequence loss to government exchequer amount to Rs 2.91 Crore.”

The audit report observed “The system integrator submitted bills for procurement of software "Oracle standard one edition" and "oracle Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition" and an amount of Rs 1.27 crore was paid to the integrator for this. However the system was not found in the IT system. State Coordinator, NRC (SCNRC) has procured original HP Toner Cartidges of two types amounting to Rs. 3434.38 lakh for HP printer. However the rate of procurement was much higher to the ‘prodot' toner cartridges being used in the SCNR office for the same HP printers. The said procurement was also made without NIT and assessing/ascertaining actual requirement. Due to procurement of the HP toner cartridges instead of prodot' toner cartridges an extra financial burden of Rs 19,43,93,362 has occurred. There are 6140 unused stock of tonners valuing to Rs.2,89,07,850 at 33 districts.”

The report pointed to Lack of transparency in selection of system Integrator. “The sole bidder WIPRO was selected as System Integrator for development and maintenance of NRC Software Solution and setting up of 1500 NRC sewa kendras (NSKs). Increasing the NRC sewa Kendras from 1500 to 2500 after selection of the

sole bidder was unjustified. The original offered bid value of Rs 196.65 crore was increased to 232.10 crore. Thus awarding the work to the sole bidder without inviting fresh tender was not in order. The technical bid of the sole bidder scores only 73 %, which indicated that the bidder was not technically fit.Accepting the single bidder for the NRC updation project resulted not only delay in completion of the Project but also huge expenditure.

The AG observed violation of the provision of the agreement on Intellectual Property Rights resulting irregular expenditure of Rs. 69.94 lakh.

The report stated, “WIPRO has to installed IT and Non-lT infrastructure viz. Laptop, camera, Heavy Duty Scanner cum Printer etc at the NSKs as per specification defined in the RFP )request for proposal) amounting to Rs 39,06,96,021.52

However, no documents viz. delivery and installation certificate, manufacture name, specification, warranty etc. were furnished along with their bills.

The report pointed to exorbitant expenditure on human resource (data entry) provided by System Integrator.

Maintenance of the stiff timelines of the project stipulated by the

Apex Court also required that the best quality HR is deployed. However, in the instances cases, the remuneration to the operators as desired rate was not paid.

Assam finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma recently stated said that AG has detected huge anomalies in the NRC prepared by Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela.

Sarma while arguing that there is the need to correct the error in the NRC advocated that Assam must be part of the pan India NRC. “In the inspection report there as many as 16 noting which points to glaring irregularities. I and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were apprised about the AG's noting however we thought of taking up the issue once NRC is published and people must know about the anomalies.”

NRC process incurred expenditure to the tune of Rs 1600 Crore. Assam Public Works, which is principle petitioner in the NRC case has written to CBI seeking probe into alleged anomalies in NRC.

The final NRC was published on August 31 last found a total of 3,11,21,004 persons eligible for inclusion in the registry leaving out 19,06,657 persons.

BJP has been unhappy over the final NRC and has stated as NRC authority refused to accept refugee certificate issued prior 1971 as a result of which large scale Bengalee Hindu, Koch Rajbonshi and Buddhist people got excluded from NRC.
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