Centre orders inquiry into misuse of MGNREGA funds - ECAS Punjab

Centre orders inquiry into misuse of MGNREGA funds

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Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 8

The Union Rural Development Ministry today ordered an inquiry into the alleged embezzlement of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds in Faridkot and Bathinda.

After receiving a complaint from Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on August 28, the ministry has directed the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh, to complete the probe before September 14.

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Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Food Processing Minister

'Personal Assistants involved'

The material was shown purchased from non-existent firms and payments to the tune of crores were made to them. These bogus firms are owned by personal assistants of Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon.

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Accusing Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon of embezzling funds in connivance with some government officials, Harsimrat alleged the material was shown purchased from non-existent firms and payments to the tune of crores were made to them. These non-existent firms were owned by the personal assistants of Dhillon, she alleged.

The entire payment to the material suppliers had been released based on estimates even for works that never started on the ground. Job cards were issued to ineligible persons, she alleged.

Meanwhile, Dhillon refuted the allegations. "This is not the first time that the Badals are leveling such frivolous allegations. Earlier, Sukhbir Singh Badal had also made such complaints. Two high-level inquiries were conducted by the Union ministry, but no truth was found in the allegations," he said.

"Each time Sukhbir Singh Badal contested from this constituency, he promised to convert Faridkot into California. In reality, Sukhbir and Harsimrat are opposing brick-lining of streets in the district by asking the Union Ministry to stop funds under the MGNREGA," Dhillon alleged.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/339xl2e

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