New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) Scrutiny of leave travel concession records of the Tribal Affairs Ministry disclosed 'manipulation' of LTC claims by six of its employees, according to the latest CAG report.
The Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) of India in its report for 2018-19 said these employees had travelled to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the northeast region by Air India.
'Audit compared the claims submitted by the employees with details made available by the airlines and found that the bills furnished were fabricated,' the report read.
The fares claimed by the employees were higher than the amount actually paid to the airlines. Further, the air tickets in these cases were booked through private agents in violation of rules, it said.
According to an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on September 19, 2016, air tickets are to be purchased directly from the airlines (booking counters, website of airlines) or through authorised travel agents.
'This resulted in irregular reimbursement of claims aggregating Rs 7.40 lakh. The ministry stated in May 2019 that the difference of amount claimed by the officials and the amount actually paid to Air India has been recovered along with penal interest thereon. The officials concerned have been warned to refrain from repetition of such action in the future,' the CAG report read.
However, the auditor said the ministry's reply is not acceptable, 'as instead of the entire amount, only the difference of the amount claimed and the amount actually paid to Air India had been recovered from the employees concerned'.
Also, only administrative warnings had been issued in place of initiating disciplinary proceedings against the errant employees for submission of fraudulent claims, it noted.
This case also highlights 'lack of internal control' in the ministry as tickets purchased through private agents were accepted and claims passed on that basis, the CAG said. PTI GVS KJ KJ