Over Rs 7,000 crore revenue arrears pending to be recovered: CAG tells Kerala govt

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Comptroller and General (CAG) of India has found that the Kerala government has failed to collect revenue arrears of Rs 7,100.32 crore, which was outstanding for more than five years and stressed the need for urgent intervention to clear it.

The government departments should create a database of outstanding arrears for effective monitoring and follow-up for recovery of arrears, it recommended.

The total arrears of Rs 21,797.86 crore amount to 22.33 per cent of the total revenue of the southern state, according to the latest CAG report.

"The total arrears of revenue as on 31 March 2021 on certain principal heads of revenue amounted to Rs 21,797.86 crore of which Rs 7,100.32 crore was outstanding for more than five years," it said.

The Combined Compliance Audit Report (Revenue Sector), Govt. of Kerala for the period 2019-21 of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India was tabled in the state Assembly on Thursday.

"Out of the total arrears, Rs 6,422.49 crore (29.46 per cent) is pending from the Government and Government/ local bodies. This necessitates urgent intervention from the government to clear the outstanding arrears," the report said.

The CAG pointed out that arrear figures are furnished by the Departments every year only at the instance of audit.

The absence of prompt reporting of arrears to Revenue Department and pursuance by the Departments concerned for realising the arrears are the main reasons for the huge pendency of arrears.

"The arrears of Rs 7,100.32 crore were pending for more than five years in 12 Departments and includes those of Excise Department from 1952," it said.

The cases, referred to the Government for write-off (Rs 1,905.89 crore), were also not being pursued by the Departments/ offices concerned.

An amount of Rs 6,143.28 crore is pending under stay orders, which is 32.79 per cent of the total arrear amount.

The departments need to take effective action to vacate the stay orders and to realise the amounts, the CAG added in the report. PTI

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