Former five-time MLA from Haryana, Birender Singh, who is currently Union minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, has defaulted on repayment of over `24 lakh loan taken from the Haryana Vidhan Sabha secretariat five years ago.
Singh is among total 15 former MLAs who have defaulted on the repayment of their respective loans taken from the state assembly.
This information has recently been obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by a Hisar-based activist Naresh Kumar. Singh had been Congress MLA from Uchana (district Jind) five times.
When asked about the loan recovery, Vidhan Sabha secretary RK Nandal told HT that the Vidhan Sabha secretariat had been sending notices to all the 15 former MLAs, including Singh. “The secretariat had stopped Singh’s pension (given to former MLA) in 2009 itself as he had been elected to Rajya Sabha then, with which the deduction of his loan repayment from the pension also stopped,’’ he said.
According to information, Singh had taken house loan of `12.5 lakh twice (total `25 lakh) in 2007 and `10 lakh loan for purchase of vehicle in 2009. However, the repayment installments discontinued in 2009 for house loan and 2010 for vehicle loan. The defaulting amount now is `15.3 lakh on account of house loan and `8.9 lakh for vehicle loan (total `24.2 lakh).
Apart from Birender Singh, another former MLA Randhir Singh had also taken both the house and vehicle loans. These loans are given to MLAs on a meager interest rate of 4%.
The remaining 13 other former MLAs who too have been sent notices for defaulting amounts on house loans are late Bharath Singh (balance amount `1.2 lakh), late Charan Dass Shorewala (`23,000), Ram Phal Chirana (`2.3 lakh), Shahida Khan (`13.2 lakh), Chattar Pal Singh (`6 lakh), Ishwar Singh Palaka (`21.5 lakh), Arjan Singh (`22.9 lakh), Radhey Shyam Sharma (`22.7 lakh), Raj Rani Poonam (`29 lakh), Sukhbir Singh Rohat (`14.8 lakh), Bachan Singh Arya (`16.7 lakh), late Deen Ram (`3.6 lakh) and Ramesh Kashyap (`1.4 lakh).
Birender Singh, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hisar in 1984 and to Rajya Sabha in 2010, had resigned from the Congress in August, 2014, and joined BJP and subsequently was elected again to Rajya Sabha and got cabinet berth in November, 2014.