New Delhi: The Central education department has requested the office of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to carry out special audit of implementation of PM Poshan scheme in West Bengal in the last three financial years.
The Central government order to conduct the special audit followed the reports about alleged misuse of funds in West Bengal under the scheme. Instances of deviations in implementation of the scheme have also been reported in the media, said a senior officer of the Central education department, adding that the audit will encompass compliance, performance and financial audit.
The CAG is empowered to conduct this audit under regulations on Audit and Accounts (Amendment) 2020 framed in pursuance of section 23 of the CAG (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971, (Act No 56 of 1971). Necessary corrective action will be taken by the concerned department based on the audit report outcome.
The department of school education and literacy administers the PM Poshan scheme vide which funds are provided to states, based on proposals received from them, for one hot cooked meal to eligible children in classes I to VIII and Balvatika. The schemes intends to benefit about 11.80 crore children in the country studying in 11.20 lakh government and government aided schools.
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The Centre had in September 2021 launched the Prime Minister Poshan scheme or PM-Poshan scheme for providing one cooked hot meal in government and government-aided schools and announced that it would spend ₹1,30,795 crore on the scheme in the next five years. The scheme will replace the existing national programme for mid-day meal in schools or mid-day meal scheme.