Scholarship scam: Erring institutes to face the music - ECAS Punjab

Scholarship scam: Erring institutes to face the music

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11

Private educational institutions that benefited from irregular disbursal of Rs 7.33 crore under the SC post-matric scholarship scheme will face criminal action, besides recovery with penal interest.

Recovery with penal interest

  • Chief Secy Vini Mahajan in her report to the CM had held that the institutions that had taken undue benefit should be held accountable by effecting recovery with penal interest and initiating criminal/administrative action against them
  • The department is yet to initiate recovery proceeding against erring 10 institutes

Based on the report of a three-member committee that probed the alleged multi-crore scam in the disbursal of the scholarship funds, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan in her report to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had held that the institutions that had taken undue benefit should be held accountable by effecting recovery with penal interest and initiating criminal/administrative action against them at the earliest.

Even though the Chief Minister had asked for strict action to fix responsibility, the department is yet to initiate recovery proceeding against erring 10 institutes.

The three-member committee comprising IAS officers Jaspal Singh, KAP Sinha and Vivek Partap Singh has already given a clean chit to Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

However, the committee has prima facie found the involvement of certain officials in the Social Welfare Directorate, including Deputy Director PS Gill and Deputy Controller of Finance and Audit Charanjit Singh. The file pertaining to taking action against the erring officials, based on the findings of the three-member committee, was said to be pending with Dharamsot. The committee has found evidence of misrepresentation of facts and wrongful claims of dues.

However, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare, Jaspal Singh did not respond to query on action taken on the committee findings.

The committee has pointed out that due to violation of the decision of the Council of Ministers on proportionate release of scholarship funds to the educational institutions, officials in the Social Welfare Directorate got re-audit without any authorisation, leading to irregular payment of Rs 7.33 crore. This happened when 92 institutions were waiting for Rs 18.40 crore to be released for 2015-2016.

Meanwhile, the committee failed to bring on record tampering of signatures of the Director, Social Welfare. Under question is a re-audit carried out by the Social Welfare Department that ultimately led to "questionable" payment of Rs 16.91 crore to 14 private educational institutions.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/36WlO9O

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