Taking cognisence of a Hindustan Times news report on the misuse of Suvidha Centre funds run by Sukhmani Societies in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday ordered a probe and sought a report within 15 days.
A Punjab government spokesman said the chief minister directed Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh to get the matter probed under his supervision and submit a report.
Subsequently, the chief secretary directed concerned divisional commissioners to conduct a thorough enquiry into the functioning of these centres in the districts under their jurisdiction and submit their reports at the earliest. The commissioners have also been asked to fix responsibility of the concerned officials, wherever necessary, the spokesman added.
HT had on Thursday carried a news report, saying crores of rupees charged from the public in the name of “facilitation charges” for providing services like registration of births and deaths, marriages, vehicles, driving license, ration card and arms license, etc in district Suvidha Centres, have been either wasted or squandered away by district Sukhmani Society officials, headed by the deputy commissioners.
The DCs have found these societies as another avenue to “misuse” funds for official and personal purposes as in the case of Red Cross Societies. They have not only violated rules and regulations governing these societies, but have been running them as per their whims, the news item said.
HT had earlier exposed misuse of Red Cross funds in Punjab by the DCs in a similar manner, following which the state government had to deposit Rs 1.95 crore to the international organisation. Some DCs were also forced to deposit lakhs of rupees to the Red Cross after they were held responsible for misusing the funds during their tenure as the DCs.