All is not well in MMC: Audit points to huge liabilities, terms fiscal position ‘not healthy’
21st March 2017, 07:01 Hrs
Team Babita Prabhudesai heading the Margao Municipal Council has a task to cut out to restore the civic body’s ailing financial health with the State Audit terming the financial position of the MMC as “not healthy” taking into account the huge liabilities of the Council.
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That’s not all. The State Audit in its report 2015-16 has stressed the need to carry out a special audit of the A Class Margao Municipal Council to overcome the financial situation and has held the firm view that the Council should avoid unwanted and unauthorised expenditure and initiate necessary action to recover the outstanding taxes, rent, etc and generate revenue.
That all is not well with the MMC finances is evident by the fact that the Audit party went to the extent of requesting the Director of Municipal Administration to take necessary action in the matter and issue strict instructions to Municipal authorities to provide required information and co-operation to audit.
The Audit party has also pulled up the civic body for non-production of vital documents such as vouchers, bank statements, fixed deposit register, grants register during the audit for the year 2015-16.
This lapse, the audit party, said came in the way of the verification of all the records, terming the episode a “serious issues in dealing with public money”.
In fact, Deputy Director, Accounts, Madhukar Kunkolienkar has categorically said the Council may take appropriate action in the matter to safeguard the interest of the Council and avoid the mismanagement of public money.
Taking serious cognizance of the non-cooperation of the Municipal officials to the annual audit, the audit party observed: “In the last two audit reports, it was requested to issue necessary instructions to the MMC from higher authorities as required information was not produced to the audit party by the concerned officials related to audit. However, higher authorities have not taken the matter seriously/not taken cognizance of the requirements of audit. This year also, the audit party could not carry out the audit in fair and transparent manner as required information has not been provided to the audit party inspite of memos and several verbal reminders”.
The audit party rued that even the copy of the budget produced to the audit was not approved by the Director of Municipal administration. That’s not all. Even the statement of demand collection and arrears of taxes has not been furnished to the audit. This has come in the way of verification of the collection of demand collection and tax arrears for the year 2015-16. The audit has brought this lapse to the notice of the higher authorities for necessary action.
The situation in respect of the Municipal rent is no different. The civic body did not produce to the audit the details of rent of premises. Hence, the audit party could not verify the demand collection and arrears of rent outstanding as on March 31, 2016. Unauthorised occupant of municipal premises also could not be verified in the absence of detailed information, the audit stated.