Audit slams Railways on food quality

Image: Audit slams railways on food quality
Image Source: The Hindu

A CAG report tabled in Parliament on Friday has found severe deficiencies in the catering services of the Indian Railways, with several stations and trains serving food items “unfit for human consumption”, unpurified tap water being used for food preparation, and food being left unprotected from insects and rats.

During the joint inspection of the selected 74 stations and 80 trains over Zonal Railways, the audit found that cleanliness and hygiene standards were not being maintained in the catering units at stations and on trains.

The CAG also found unfair trade practices at stations and in trains. Bills were not provided for the food items served on trains; waiters and catering managers on the trains didn’t carry printed menu cards with tariffs, etc.

The report also found the weight and prices of the items sold at railway stations were different from the open market, and that the unit price of food articles sold in railway premises was significantly higher. For example, during a joint inspection in Allahabad station, it was found that chips of the brand ‘Lays’ of the identical weights were sold at Rs. 18 at the station, while only at Rs. 10 outside the railway station.

 

About Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG):

Image: CAG
Source: ToI

Article 148 of the Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.

The duty of the CAG is to uphold the Constitution of India and laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration. It audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India.

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from this facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

 

MAJOR DEFICIENCIES IN ARMY’S AMMUNITION RESERVES

Image: CAG Report

At a time when India is caught in a major military standoff with China at Doklam, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has presented a dismal picture of the Army’s War Wastage Reserve (WWR) ammunition, especially of high calibre equipment needed to wage intense war.

The report tabled on Friday is a follow-up audit on the measures taken after the CAG’s earlier report on “Ammunition Management in Army”, tabled in 2015. This new report is an evaluation of the availability of WWR ammunition in the Army during the period 2013-14 to 2016-17 (till September 2016)

On the efforts to procure ammunition, the CAG noted that there continued to be a critical deficiency in the availability and quality of ammunition supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) since March 2013.

About War Wastage Reserves (WWR):

Image: War Wastage Reserves

War Wastage Reserves are collections of military material held in reserve in case of war. This includes bullets and other form of ammunition, as well as equipment, weapons and fuels.

In India, the norm is that WWR should last for 40 days of intense fighting, allowing time for production to be ramped up and delivered to the military.

However, as per the CAG report, the situation is bit grim in the country.

About Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG):

Image: CAG
Source: ToI

Article 148 of the Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.

The duty of the CAG is to uphold the Constitution of India and laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration. It audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from this facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

 

IFCI violated norms in sanctioning loans

Image: CAG
Source: ToI

A CAG report has found that a majority of loans given by IFCI during 2012-16 were either not in line with the General Lending Policy, or were given out without due diligence having been performed. This has led to a 78% increase in non-performing assets (NPAs) over the last three years.

The audit on IFCI was carried out due to the high level of NPAs, which amounted to Rs. 3,544.54 crore as of March 31, 2016, or 13.05% of total outstanding loans.

As per the CAG report, 78% of the above NPAs originated during the last three years.

About Non-Performing Assets (NPAs):

Image: Non-Performing Assets
Image Source: Kalyan City

A non-performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days or more in context of commercial loans while for a period of 180 days or more in context of consumer loans.

Banks are further required to classify NPAs further into Substandard, Doubtful and Loss Assets.

  1. Substandard Assets: Assets which have remained NPA for a period less than or equal to 12 months.
  2. Doubtful Assets: An asset would be classified as doubtful if it has remained in the substandard category for a period of 12 months.
  3. Loss Assets: As per RBI, “Loss assets are considered uncollectible and of such little value that its continuance as a bankable asset is not warranted, although there may be some salvage (meaning no. 44) or recovery value”.

About IFCI:

IFCI, previously Industrial Finance Corporation of India, is an Indian government owned development bank to cater to the long-term finance needs of the industrial sector. It was the first development finance institution established by the Indian government after independence.

Until the establishment of ICICI in 1991, IFCI remained solely responsible for implementation of the government’s industrial policy initiatives.

In 1993 it was reconstituted as a company to impart higher degree of operational flexibility. IFCI was allowed to access the capital markets directly.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download for free ‘The Hindu’ newspaper from a facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IFCI_Ltd