|Scooped by Centre for Good Governance|
GOVT TO `LOOK EAST' TO OVERSEE EXPENDITURE
CAG-Like Evaluation Authority to Regulate Govt Spending The Telangana government will set up an independent body to oversee public expenditure and evaluate how much of a bang for the buck the state is delivering to its people. The Evaluation Authority of the State of Telangana (EAST) is expected to become operational this financial year. EAST is expected to function on the lines of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and keep an eye on how well the state is spending its funds. This is the first such state-level body to be set up by any state government in the country. The setting up of the evaluation authority was announced by finance minister Etela Rajender in a statement of fiscal policy presented to the Legislative Assembly as part of presenting the state budget for 2016-17. Rajender said that the government aims at redirecting expenditure away from less productive schemes towards investments that will result in lasting benefits for the people. The evaluation authority is expected to help the government on this front. The state government, over the past year, has relied several times on internal audits to check irregularities in spending. For instance, an audit of the farm loan waiver scheme found that in Medak district alone, Rs 35 crore was disbursed in violation of norms. These accounts were then made ineligible for the waiver programme, resulting in savings for the government.