Thu, 08 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): The Ministry of Education on Wednesday asked the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to conduct a special audit of the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM Poshan Scheme) in West Bengal over the last three financial years.

This comes after the ministry received several reports about the alleged misuse of funds in West Bengal under the PM Poshan Scheme. Instances of deviations in the implementation of the Scheme have also been reported in the media.

According to an official statement, the audit will encompass compliance, performance and financial audit.

The ministry added that necessary corrective action will be taken based on the CAG audit report.

"The CAG is empowered to conduct this Audit under Regulations on Audit and Accounts (Amendment) 2020 framed in pursuance of Section 23 of the Comptroller and Auditor Generals (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971, (Act No 56 of 1971). Necessary corrective action will be taken by the Department based on the Audit Report by the 0/o CAG," the ministry said in the statement.

The Department of School Education and Literacy administers the PM Poshan scheme through which funds are provided to states, based on proposals received, for one hot cooked meal to eligible children in classes one to eight and Balvatika.

PM Poshan Scheme benefits about 11.80 crore children in the country studying in 11.20 lakh Government and Government aided schools.

Earlier in January, a central team was constituted to visit West Bengal for reviewing the implementation of the PM POSHAN scheme.

"Ministry of Education has constituted a Joint Review Mission to visit the State of West Bengal to review the implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme, Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) in January," an official statement said.

The team reviewed the fund flow from State to Schools/implementing agencies, the coverage of the Scheme, the availability of Management Structure at the State, District, and Block levels, the delivery mechanism of food grains from State to Schools, the smooth implementation of the Scheme with particular reference to interruptions among other objectives.

It also reviewed the Construction of Kitchen-cum-stores, Procurement/Replacement of Kitchen Devices, the involvement of NGOs/Trust/Centralized kitchens in the Scheme, the payment of the Cost of Food grains to the Food Corporation of India etc. (ANI)

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