Universal Service Funds Totaling Over 32 Billion Rupees Are Still Unused
The Universal Service Funds (USF), an organization in charge of offering telecom services in rural regions of the nation, still have billions of rupees available.
The audit found that over Rs. 36 billion had been spent by the Universal Service Fund in the previous five years, whereas Rs. 32 billion could not be used until June 30, 2021.
According to the audit report, the Universal Service Fund responded by stating that 50% of the unused monies were planned for use in 2021–2022.
Since the money were utilised to provide telecom services in isolated and underdeveloped areas in accordance with the PTA Act of 2006 and other regulations, audit authorities found USF’s answer to be unsatisfactory.
The Departmental Accounts Committee has instructed the USF to use the funds to quickly complete the existing projects and identify additional locations for the supply of telecom services, according to the audit report.
The audit has mandated an investigation to ascertain the causes of the underutilization of funds. According to the audit, using the monies should remove the imbalance of connection in various places.
MoITT officials claim that there had previously been some problems with the usage of the USF kitty. There were just 6 active Universal Service Fund projects when Syed Aminul Haq took over the ministry.
The majority of the problems have been resolved, and the fund now has 35 projects instead of only six.