Senior congress leader and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira on Tuesday has asked the chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal to order a special audit by The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, of all the discretionary grants released in the state since 2007 to present.
Through a press release, Khaira said, "this demand assumes significance after the exposure of gross embezzlement done by former minister Sucha Singh Langah and others while using their discretionary grants. As we are aware, huge public exchequer money to the tune of approximately Rs 90 lakh has been misappropriated by Langah in connivance with then serving ministers."
As per the reports, Rs 37 lakh had been procured by Langah from various ministers discretionary quotas for Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College Society in Kalanaur, however, the college only existed on papers, he said adding that, "Similarly, Langah in a barter system gave his discretionary grants to other ministers and received these grants for his institution Guru Angad Dev Nursing College, Dhariwal."
"All this had been clandestinely going on for past many years and Congress is of the firm opinion that this scandal is only the tip of an iceberg. A close scrutiny and perusal of all discretionary grants issued by the SAD-BJP government would bring to fore embezzlement and misappropriation of tax payers money to the public domain. Presently, there seems to be zero accountability of such grants, as in the Langah case, how was it possible that the funds were given to a college that actually never existed on the ground?," he further added
Why the government did not get a utilisation certificate from the Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner, Khaira questioned.
Therefore, the congress party demands from the chief minister of state, a special audit to be conducted by CAG. The terms of reference of audit should include the expenditure incurred from the disbursal of these grants on ground and the usage certificates provided, if any by the respective deputy commissioner's of the state, he said.
"We also urge the government to issue a white paper on all discretionary grants since 2007, so that misuse of the tax payers' money comes to the knowledge of the people of Punjab, who are the actual owners of the public exchequer. In case the government fails to accede to our genuine demand in public interest, we would left with no option but to move the high court," Khaira warned.