Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022 | Last Update : 03:26 PM IST

  Metros   Kolkata  10 Jun 2017  West Bengal orders special audit of GTA funds

West Bengal orders special audit of GTA funds

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 10, 2017, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Jun 10, 2017, 4:49 am IST

The principal secretary of the GTA has already been informed by the state secretariat and has been asked to render full cooperation to the WBAAS team.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)
 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: A six-member team from the state finance department reached the Hills on Friday to conduct a “special audit of the funds” received by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in the Darjeeling hills in the last three financial years.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, at a government programme in Mirik on Monday, had alleged that the GTA had misused the development funds of the state government and said that an audit would be conducted — a move to mount pressure on GTA chief Bimal Gurung.

“The audit team comprises of officials from the West Bengal Audit and Account Services (WBAAS), and is led by its deputy commissioner Jayanta Majumder. They have been directed to submit a preliminary report within two weeks,” a senior official of the finance department said on condition of anonymity.

The principal secretary of the GTA has already been informed by the state secretariat, and has been asked to render full cooperation to the WBAAS team. They will be conducting an audit of the fiscal years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The finance department official said that the government might take legal steps against the GTA if allegation of misappropriation of funds is proved true.

“We will not even hesitate to lodge an FIR against the GTA,” the official added.

As per sources in the finance department, the state government, during the three fiscal years, had allocated nearly Rs 1,000 crore to the GTA, while the Centre had allocated Rs 600 crore. However, the GTA is yet to submit a utilisation certificate for the money provided.

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also pointed out irregularities in the use of funds by the Morcha leadership.

“If we find any discrepancy, we will not spare even the secretary of the GTA. The GTA is under the jurisdiction of the state government. We can always inquire into how much money has been used properly and how much has been siphoned off,” Ms Banerjee had said at Mirik.

Tags: gorkhaland territorial administration, mamata banerjee, bimal gurung
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]