Online payments to prevent graft
In order to prevent corruption in payment of the bills to the contractors of the Mission Kakatiya, the government has decided to make them through online and the payments would start from June. Irrigation minister T Harish Rao directed the officials of the department to raise the bills for the works of Mission Kakatiya being grounded in March and April of this year and to make payments even in parts.
He strictly told the officials to start raising the bills of the works as soon as they reach a stage and not to delay the procedure. The assistant executive engineer of Irrigation department would prepare the bill and would submit for payment through online.
Government has taken up renovation of 46,459 tanks in the State and under the first phase works of 9,573 were taken up. Works of 5,889 tanks have been grounded till May 23.
Officials of the department said that prompt payment of bills to the contractors would prevent frauds in bill payments and bill raising. The online system would ensure no sleight of hand in the payments also, they said.
The officials said that payment of bills through cheques, like in the past, would give an opportunity to corruption as it was possible that the lower rung officers involved in the payment process might demand commissions to clear the bills and to hand over the cheques, and online payments would prevent such possibilities.
In the online system, the bills would be uploaded to the system and once it is done, the payment would take automatic route and the amounts would land in the accounts of the contractors straight away.
The other reason to make payments at the earliest is to curb the menace of excess billing due to late payments and due to non-availability of measurements. The minister strictly told the officials to see that the as many bills as possible are cleared before onset of monsoon so that the measurements like the quantity of silt lifted could be computed accurately.
Irrigation department chief engineer M Ramesh said that the bill would be raised on the basis of quantity of the silt removed as far as dredging works are concerned. He said that this is an area where fraud could take place. He informed that the amount of work done would be computed on the basis of silt removed, in cubic meter units, in the dredging work.
The Irrigation department has fixed the rate of the work of removing the silt at Rs 41 per cubic meter. However, this amount differs as per the rate quoted by the contractors. In some works contractors might quote high and in some less.
According to the information available from the Irrigation department, it is expected that the quantity of silt in each tank would begin from 10,000 cubic meters and the maximum might go up to one lakh cubic meters.
It is also been decided to pay the bills in two cycles every month and they would be cleared as soon as they were raised. The assistant executive engineer of the concerned tank would initiate the process and the executive engineer would give the pay order.
STATUS OF MISSION KAKATIYA WORKS AS ON 25.05.2015
AA accorded by Govt
concluded (In No.s )