Alleging that the TRS government was involved in scams of over Rs 10,000 crore, Congress leader and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir today demanded that the Centre order a probe into the "financial irregularities" mentioned in the recently released reports
of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
Addressing a press conference at the Gandhi Bhavan, the leader said that the CAG had, in a report submitted to the Telangana Legislature on March 26, 2021 (the closing day
of the recent Budget session), exposed the "brazen" thefts of the KCR regime, but that the government had not even bothered to respond to the report to clarify its stand on the allegations.
"The CAG's reports on the general, revenue and social sectors, and public sector undertakings (PSUs) have revealed a large number of financial irregularities committed by the Telangana government between 2014 and 2019. These include tampering with budget and revenue figures and favouring certain contractors illegally among various other financial misappropriations. The latest report has exposed scams of about Rs 10,000 crore. It is the duty of the CAG to point out irregularities and loopholes in the accounting system of any state government. Similarly, it is the duty of government departments to respond to the observations made by the body on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. However, the TRS government and its officials have not felt the need to even respond to the numerous reports of the body since 2014. The non-responsive behaviour clearly means that the KCR regime has indeed indulged in corruption and has been concealing the truth from us all. The CAGs reports have revealed scams of hundreds of crores as well as the present government's incompetent and unaccountable way of running Telangana," he alleged.
"They have exposed how the KCR government has repeatedly manipulated figures to show growth. The same inflated figures were used by the government to get huge loans at high interest rates in the name of various projects. This has turned Telangana into a debt-ridden state. This financial fraud was also exposed by the 15th Finance Commission. But the government took no action against the officials involved in the matter," the Congressman added.
Shabbir Ali then said that the CAG had strongly criticised the lack of response from the state government. Citing the relevant figures, he stated, "The CAG clearly stipulates that the heads of office and the next higher authorities are required to respond to the observations contained in all Inspection Reports (IRs) and take appropriate corrective action. Audit observations communicated in IRs are also discussed at periodic intervals in meetings at the district or state levels by officers of the Accountant General’s office with officials of the concerned departments. As of December 31, 2019, 2,903 IRs containing 19,280 paragraphs, pertaining to previous years, are pending settlement. Of these, first replies have not been received to 399 IRs (4,250 paragraphs)."
Further, he said that the administrative departments were required to submit explanatory notes on paragraphs and reviews included in CAG audit reports within three months of their presentation to the legislature of the state, duly indicating the action taken or the proposed corrective steps.
Quoting the CAG's responses to the Telangana government's lack of action, the former minister said, "Explanatory notes are yet to be received from 11 departments in respect to 19 paragraphs/performance audit reviews that featured in the audit reports for the years 2014-15 and 2016-17 as of December 31, 2019. Explanatory notes are also yet to be received from 13 departments in respect to 29 paragraphs/performance audit reviews relating to the period prior to the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, as of December 31, 2019."
After pointing out the alleged financial infractions of the state government, Shabbir Ali demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao clarify the observations made by the CAG.
"If KCR fails to respond to the CAG reports, it will be assumed by one and all that his government has indeed been involved in large-scale corruption ever since it came into power in 2014. The Centre too must take cognisance of the reports and order a probe into the allegations through the relevant agencies to trace the looted public money," he thundered.