SAIL spent chunk of CSR money on flying minister, PR jobs: CAG

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 24, 2011

Steel Authority of India has spent a good part of money, meant for extending medical facilities to local poor people, for hiring choppers to fly the minister, according to Comptroller and Auditor General report tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

The CAG report revealed that SAIL, which had spent Rs 17.21 crore cumulatively during 2006-2010 in all its plants across the country for organising medical camps, spent a major chunk of the fund money for activities other than medicines.

“BSL (Bokaro Steel) in particular spent excessively high amount (82 per cent) on activities other than the medicines.

Out of total expenditure of Rs 10.56 crore, a major portion was incurred on hiring helicopters for the then minister of steel (Rs 1.31 crore), public relation activities (Rs 5.62 crore,” CAG said.

“Only 18 per cent was spent on medicines, which resulted in defeating the basic purpose of organising medical camps, which was to provide medical facilities to the underprivileged people of the society, living in the periphery of the plants,” it added.

The Ministry, after the matter was brought to its attention by the national auditor, said it would confine its targeted expenditure on the main activities like medicine and treatment of patients and so on, rather than diverting the fund for other usages.

During the last four years, SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant, Rourkela Steel Plant, Durgapur Steel Plant, ISSCO Steel Plant have also spent a significant part of their funds worth Rs 2.02 crore, 1.61 crore, 0.63 crore and 0.83 crore, respectively, for non-medical camp activities.

Another state-run steel making firm Rashtriya Ispat spent only Rs 0.2 crore on providing medical facilities for the local people during the same period.

“The companies were not doing any need assessment survey in the periphery of their plants to assess requirements of the society and were not planning in structured manner to utilise the funds efficiently,” CAG said in its report.

The two were also not evaluating the impact of their CSR activities on the society, it added.

CAG also said that the two state-run firms should evolve a system of need assessment and impact assessment while undertaking CSR activities.

Published on March 24, 2011

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