PANAJI: The state government squandered more than Rs 100 crore on fraud and ineligible beneficiaries of the Dayanand Social Security scheme (DSSS), Griha Aadhar scheme and Laadli Laxmi scheme for five years, between 2012 and 2017.
In its latest report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has stated that the directorate of women and child development(DWCD), and the directorate of social welfare who are responsible for implementing these schemes did not conduct a thorough scrutiny of the applications received from beneficiaries, as well as any physical, on-ground surveys to identify ineligible beneficiaries.
“There was considerable leakage of government money by way of disbursement of financial assistance to ineligible/expired/bogus beneficiaries, as well as beneficiaries availing of overlapping benefits under other schemes and those receiving benefit more than once under the same scheme,” CAG’s report states. The report also found the process of verification of income, weak, despite it being the dominant criteria for identifying beneficiaries under DSSS and Griha Aadhar schemes.
During its audit, CAG discovered that the government granted financial assistance to thousands of beneficiaries under DSSS and Griha Aadhar despite beneficiaries flouting the critical income criteria, not meeting the qualifying age, not submitting life certificates, and in some cases beneficiaries who have expired were availing benefits. Similarly, beneficiaries applied for multiple government schemes (by flouting eligibility criteria) and applying for the same scheme more than once under different registration numbers. The report also stated that there also were instances of benefits being granted to “doubtful beneficiaries”.
When CAG verified information with other departments, it found that some beneficiaries of DSSS and Griha Aadhar owned four-wheelers, all adding up to drain the exchequer of lakhs of rupees. The CAG report goes on to state that this indicated “lack of proper verification and weak processing controls in the implementing departments that enabled persons of sound financial status to avail of financial assistance under the schemes”.
The audit observed improper application of DSSS Rules 2001 and Laadli Laxmi Rules 2012, which resulted in ineligible applicants availing benefits.
“The rules framed for implementation of the schemes need to be followed scrupulously to ensure that government money is not frittered away by way of disbursement of financial assistance to ineligible applicants,” the audit report stated, adding that “incidences of applicants enrolling more than once and availing of multiple financial assistance under the (same) scheme were symptomatic of lax monitoring in the implementing department and weak software controls”.
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