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Rs 77.53 lakh fund irregularity by Mizoram Youth Commission: CAG

The lone government agency for youth development in the state made doubtful payment to placement agencies during 2016-17, says report

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The Mizoram Youth Commission (MYC), the lone government agency for youth development in the state, made doubtful payment of Rs 77.53 lakh to placement agencies during 2016-17, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said.

The CAG report presented to the state assembly by chief minister Zoramthanga last week said that the payment was made without any documentary evidence of placement. The DoNER ministry had released a grant of Rs 2.51 crore to the MYC for imparting training to 400 unemployed youths of Northeast in 2016.

In January 2016, the MYC decided to appoint 16 placement agencies (PA) to facilitate placement of the youths.

During February to May, the commission conducted training programmes on hospitality, aviation, retail, tourism and information technology for 463 youths, of which 50 were dropped out before completion the training course, with a grant received form DoNER.

Whereas general financial rules stipulates that where the estimated cost of the work or service is above Rs 25 lakh, an enquiry seeing “Expression of Interest” (EOI) from consultants should be published in at least one national daily and the department’s website, the placement agencies did not fulfilled this and violated the financial rules, the report said.

Moreover, no appointment of letter detailing the scope of work and consultancy fees to be paid were issued to the PAs. The MYC paid Rs 77.53 lakh to the PAs between May 2016 and January 2017 in violation of financial rules and without proof of work, the report said.

While only 386 youths excluding those dropped out were placed by the commission in its report submitted to the CAG, 506 were placed for training as per the invoices of the PAs.

The CAG report said that 16 PAs submitted 25 invoices to the MYC for payment of consultancy fees without any documentary evidence of placement done in support of their claims. All the invoices were printed on plain paper without any details of their registration numbers, service tax registration numbers as required under service tax rules, 1994.

Payment were made even before the invoices were received and no actual payee receipts were taken from the PAs for payment made in cash, the report also said.

Though the invoices submitted by 8 of the 16 PAs indicated they were private companies, only 1 PA was registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs when cross checked, the report added. The CAG also recommended that the matter be referred to state vigilance department for further investigation.

MYC was set up by an Act of the Mizoram State Legislature in 2008. It has been given statutory responsibility for promotion, exploration and embracement of youth welfare. The commission concentrated its activity in providing coaching and guidance for All India Services and State Services.