Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar on Monday led a Punjab Congress MLAs' delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, demanding formation of committees of MPs and MLAs to oversee the fair utilisation of funds disbursed by the Centre to the state governments for welfare schemes.
Jakhar who, along with 31 MLAs, met the prime Minister for 45 minutes, advocated the formation of all-party committees at the Centre and the state levels to monitor funds being released under various schemes for the welfare of the poor, Dalits and the common man.
Jakhar impressed upon the Prime Minister that the formation of such committees would ensure proper utilisation of funds.
He said the Prime Minister was deeply concerned about embezzlement into central schemes and had assured them to seriously consider the suggestion.
"Transparency in the expenditure of government funds would reduce friction among politicians of different parties, which would ensure progress of the nation," the delegation told the Prime Minister.
Jakhar said the formation of committees was necessitated following unearthing of the scams into central funds allocated for the public of Punjab by the Congress-led UPA government.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has strongly opposed the demand saying it was unconstitutional, illegal, politically motivated and amounted to direct interference in the working of the elected state governments.
In a statement released at the party head office here, SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said there could be no better committee than the elected government of a state, which carried the desired public mandate and was accountable to the public. "How can a committee of people rejected by the public supervise the constitutionally elected government of the state?" Cheema wondered.
Fact-finding report after July 15: Jakhar
Jakhar, who also met union HRD minister Pallam Raju, said that the minister would make the report of the fact-finding team public after coming back from abroad on July 15. Raju had sent a four-member fact-finding team to Punjab last month following allegations that the Punjab education department had misappropriated the funds sent for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and also provided sub-standard science kits to students.