Asks Union agri minister Narendra Tomar to forward the case to the CBI for a thorough probe
Chandigarh, August 20, 2020: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Rs 1,000 crore MGNREGA funds had been siphoned off by Congress legislators in active connivance with State government officials and demanded an independent inquiry be held into this issue to nail the culprits behind this scam.
In a statement here, the SAD President said it was shocking that central funds meant for the amelioration of the poor had been waylaid by Congress legislators. He said an inquiry by a central team had already detected gross irregularities in two districts of the State and requested Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar to forward the case to the CBI for a thorough probe into misappropriation of MGNREGA funds across the State.
Giving details, Mr Sukhbir Badal said as per the modus operandi which was in force, material component was billed to companies owned by cronies of Congress legislators. He said material worth crores in each case was shown to the purchased from the firms on paper only. “Work which has not even started on the ground has been shown to be completed and even payments have been made on the basis of rough estimates”.
Mr Badal said Congress legislators had become so blatant that they had opened tile making and bench making factories to siphon off central funds. “Even culverts, pavements and sheds have been constructed on personal premises and funds have been utilized beyond jurisdictions for political benefits in connivance with raw material suppliers and gram panchayats. Similarly job cards have been issued to ineligible people and even deceased persons have been put on the MGNREGA job list”.
The SAD President said this scam had the blessings of the State government and that was why no action had been taken against those running it when a central team detected huge regularities including fake labour force, inflated bills and sub-standard quality of works. He said following the detection of irregularities in two districts there were complaints from other areas also but the Congress government was trying to put a lid on the scam. “Since the government is complicit in the scam in the same way it allowed the liquor mafia led by Congmen to loot Rs 5,600 crore in excise revenue, only a CBI inquiry can lay bare the entire nexus and ensure exemplary punishment to the real culprits”.
Meanwhile Mr Badal also requested Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar to depute a team to monitor MGNREGA works in Punjab to ensure they benefitted the disadvantaged sections of society and did not become dens of corruption.