58.23 crore loss to Ministry of External Affairs, CAG reprimanded
The Ministry of External Affairs has incurred a loss of Rs 58.23 crore, which has been revealed in the audit report. The CAG has reprimanded the Ministry of External Affairs for loss in revenue and not doing proper finance management.
The Ministry of External Affairs has suffered a loss of Rs 58.23 crore due to misuse of government money, for which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has reprimanded the Ministry of External Affairs. According to the CAG, there has been a loss of Rs 58.23 crore in revenue to the exchequer due to the misuse of money on the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card scheme. Besides this, the country's top auditor CAG also flagged "irregularities" in the setting up of Indian cultural centers in Paris and Washington. These complexes have not been used by the Ministry of External Affairs for nearly a decade, despite the costly purchase of properties in these capital cities of the two countries.
The CAG has found that 17 Missions and Posts across Europe and three in the United Kingdom have not correctly adjusted the exchange rates between local currencies and the US dollar for determining OCI card fees.
The Ministry of External Affairs has suffered a loss of Rs 16.26 crore from 17 missions and posts in Europe. Along with this, there has been a loss of Rs 41.97 crore due to not taking the full amount prescribed while issuing OCI cards in the United Kingdom. The CAG has found this inconsistency from February 2017 to March 2020, due to which there has been a loss of Rs 58.23 crore in the revenue of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Ministry of External Affairs has termed this loss as fictitious, to which the CAG has objected and said that a loss of Rs 58.23 crore has occurred due to the non-collection of fees properly.
MEA has not used the properties in Washington and Paris even after 2 decades of purchase. Along with this, in the CAG report, India's missions in China and Jamaica have spent much money, which could have been avoided.