CAG faults BDA for 'irregular' donations

CAG faults BDA for 'irregular' donations

A recent audit carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed that the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has “irregularly” donated Rs 10.19 crore for various purposes not permitted under the BDA Act.

This comes at a time when the BDA has not been able to discharge its primary task of allotting sites. According to the CAG report on General and Social Sector tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, the BDA has no authority to make donations even for charitable purposes as it is not in the mandate of the civic body. Yet, between 2009 and 2012, BDA has donated Rs 10.19 crore to various institutions and associations including Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a few educational institutions, a private TV channel and NGOs.

The donations were made from the Bangalore Development Fund, which is to be utilised for charges incidental to the carrying out of the purposes of the BDA including the cost of maintaining, lighting and cleaning of streets and development of Bangalore Metropolitan Area.

Defence rejected

The CAG has not accepted BDA’s version that the civic body undertook charitable activities which fell under the definition of relief of poor for education, medical relief and preservation of environment.

The highest quantum of donation has gone to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute which was given Rs two crore to procure medical equipment in August 2009. The same year BDA donated Rs 1.5 crore to Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Rs one crore to Institute of Nephrourology. BDA has also donated Rs 10 lakh to News-9 channel towards ‘Bangalore Walkathon’ for mobilising funds for flood relief in December 2009.

In 2011, Rs one crore was donated for celebrating Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana. BDA donated Rs two crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in 2012, Rs one crore to Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy to start an art gallery the same year. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike received Rs 15 lakh for celebrating its 10th anniversary.
In 2011, Rs one crore was donated for Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana. In a span of three years, Karnataka Rajyotsava Samithi of the BDA has received donations to the tune of Rs 35 lakh for Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations.

CAG has also pointed out that BDA awarded advertising rights on five flyovers to two agencies for Rs 7.29 crore for a period of five years. The agreements of these agencies had not been renewed every year, though required. After remitting Rs 2.79 crore, the agencies stopped further payments. BDA took no action till the expiry of the five-year period, losing a revenue of Rs 4.5 crore in the process. The CAG has not named the two agencies in its report.

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