Friday, January 21, 2022

Chief Minister’s Business Interest Relief Scheme under CAG scanner

Audit reveals scheme not in line with PMDP guidelines; Out of 19 major beneficiaries, 10 were not affected by 2014 floods; Finance department tells CAG that scheme was rolled out as per budget announcement of Finance Minister

Srinagar: The Chief Minister’s Business Interest Relief Scheme(CMBIRS) announced by the previous PDP-BJP government has come under scanner, with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India pointing out that the scheme was not as per the guidelines of the interest subvention scheme of the Prime Minister’s Development Package(PMDP) for J&K.

In its report, a copy of which is in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the CAG has revealed the scheme was not as per the guidelines of the interest subvention scheme of the PMDP. “An amount of Rs 180 crore received from the Government of India and payment made to beneficiaries under CMBIRS towards commitment of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir made during budget session of 2018-19, was not as per the guidelines of the interest subvention scheme of the PMDP,” reads the report.

The report also reveals ten out of 19 major beneficiaries were not at all affected during flood of September 2014 and they had been restructured only after the unrest of 2016 under special rehabilitation package.

“Further scrutiny of records (revealed that out of release of Rs 190.20 crore to Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited , Rs 41.32 crore was provided to only 19 borrowers .Further, out of these 19 borrowers, accounts of ten borrowers to whom benefit of interest subvention of Rs 21.02 crore had been provided (between March 2018 and March 2019), were not at all affected during flood of September 2014 and they had been restructured only after the unrest of 2016 under special rehabilitation package,” the report states.

These 19 beneficiaries, as per the CAG report,include Peak Auto Private Limited (Rs 5.73 crore), HK Cement Industries Limited( Rs 4.48 crore), Khyber Industries Pvt Limited (Rs 2.60 cr), Tramboo Industries Pvt Ltd (Rs 2.89 cr), Peak Auto Jammu Pvt Ltd (Rs 2.80 cr), Saifco Cements Pvt Ltd (Rs 2.00 cr), Jamkash Vehicleades (Rs 2.14 cr), Shuhul Automobiles (Rs 1.52 cr), Himalayan Rolling Steel Industries Pvt Ltd ( Rs 4.02 cr), Peaks Agro Warehousing Pvt Ltd (Rs 2.00 cr), J&K Cements limited (Rs 1.84 cr ), Fruit Preservers Partners ( Rs 0.89 Cr), Kashmir Premium Apples Pvt Ltd (Rs 1.32 Cr), Iqbal Motor Transport Services (Rs 1.10 Cr), Kashmir Fruit Preservers Partners (Rs 0.89 Cr), Kashmir Premium Apples Pvt Ltd (1.32 Cr), Gravity Concrete Solutions Pvt Ltd (Rs 1.01 Cr ), Shaheen Agro Fresh Pvt Ltd (Rs 1.36 Cr), Hassan Road Construction Co. Pvt. Limited (Rs 0.69 cr), Pinnacle Resorts Pvt Limited (Rs 2.09 cr) and HN Agriserve Pvt limited ( Rs 0.84 cr).

The CAG report further states that the Joint Director (Resources), Finance department stated in August 2020 that sanction was accorded (March 2018) for roll out of CMBIRS as per announcement made by the then Finance Minister in his budget speech 2018-19 and that the verification of genuine beneficiaries vested with JKBL.

“The reply confirmed that funds released by the GoI were diverted by the Government of J&K for its own commitment and not for payment under the scheme of interest subvention,” reads the report—(KNO)

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