MLA under lens in scholarship scam - ECAS Punjab

MLA under lens in scholarship scam

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7

The role of former IAS officer and Congress' Phagwara MLA Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal has come under the scanner in the multi-crore SC post-matric scholarship scheme fund disbursal scam.

Under question is a re-audit carried out by the state Social Welfare Department (SWD) that ultimately led to "questionable" payment of Rs 16.91 crore to 14 private educational institutions. Dhaliwal was then the Director, Social Welfare.

Wait for probe

We should wait for the probe being conducted by a committee constituted under Chief Secy. Whatever I had done was right. —Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Phagwara MLA

The payment was released in September 2019 on the basis of tampered signatures of another IAS officer, Devinder Singh, who replaced Dhaliwal on August 30, 2019, months after the re-audit was announced by Dhaliwal.

In May 2018, a special audit of the funds disbursed during the previous SAD-BJP government (2012-2017), conducted by the Finance Department (FD) on the instructions of the Council of Ministers, had reported a recovery of Rs 8.53 crore from the erring institutions.

Subsequently, the SWD conducted the re-audit of 14 institutions on the basis of an internal note signed on July 2, 2019, by Dhaliwal, Deputy Director Parminder Gill and other sub-ordinate staff. A scrutiny of documents suggests on April 16, 2019, FD's instructions to the SWD to conduct an audit of only those institutions that had been left out in its special audit were "misconstrued" to allegedly benefit the institutions.

from The Tribune

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