IAF Officers Misused Allowance For Foreign Trips, Caused Loss Of Rs 82 Lakh: CAG
Hello Defence Lovers, Dozens of Indian Air Force (IAF) officers violated defence travel regulations by claiming allowances after visiting foreign countries, causing a loss of more than Rs 82 lakh to the exchequer, the Comptroller and Auditor General has found.
- Under the regulations, military officers can claim leave travel concessions (LTC) only for visits within India when they are on leave.
- “We examined records pertaining to the period 2010-15 and found that in 49 cases, IAF officers availed of LTC while visiting a foreign country,” read the CAG report tabled in Parliament on Friday.
- The national auditor said it reflected the “systemic failure of internal control” in the IAF.
- The CAG report said the leave travel claims of the officers were entertained despite the journey from origin to a foreign country not even touching any Indian station.
- “Admitting such LTC claims and payments amounting to Rs 82.58 lakh was not only irregular but also in gross violation of the government policy on LTC,” the report said.
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- Several CAG reports have highlighted the abuse of LTC provisions by government servants.
- The report said IAF officers obtained permission from the competent authorities to go on leave to foreign countries with the condition that expenditure would be borne by the officers themselves.
- “Subsequently, the officers were applying for all-India LTC under travel regulations for the period of sanctioned leave,” the report said.
- The bills of these officers were cleared though not admissible under travel regulations, it noted.
- In its reply to the audit findings, the defence ministry said in January 2017 that an internal inquiry into the matter found there was ambiguity in the interpretation of the rules – the CAG did not find the reply convincing.
- The ministry also said full recoveries would be made from the officers concerned along with penal interest.