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NRC project cost escalated from Rs 288 cr to Rs 1602 cr: CAG

Guwahati: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest report pointed out that due to time over run initially conceptualised National Register of Citizens (NRC), the project cost escalated from Rs 288.18 Crore to Rs 1602.66 Crore.

The CAG report for the year ended 2020, which was submitted in the Assam assembly on Saturday, said that in the NRC updating exercise, highly secure and reliable software was required.

“Due to lack of proper planning in this regard, to the extent of 215 software utilities were added in haphazard manner to the core software. It was done without following the due process of either software development or selection of vendors through eligibility assessment following a national tendering,” the report said.

The CAG report said that haphazard development of software and utilities of NRC data capture and correction posed the risk of data tempering without leaving any audit trail.

The audit trail could have ensured accountability for the veracity of NRC data. Thus, the intended objective of preparing a valid error-free NRC has not yet been met, it said.

Former NRC co-ordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma had filed an FIR with the vigilance and anti-corruption wing of the state government complaining about corruption and money laundering by his predecessor Prateek Hajela.

NRC is an exercise to remove illegal immigrants. The draft list was published in July 2018, excluding 19.06 lakh out of 3.30 crore applications for the lack of adequate documents for establishing their Indian citizenship.

In Assam, those who entered India before March 25, 1971, have to prove their citizenship.

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