Apprehending anomalies in the Shagun scheme, the National Commission for the SCs/STs has told the district administration to provide it details of the beneficiaries of the scheme in the district within a week.
Around 100 people had approached the commission, claiming they never got the benefit of the scheme.
The commission, which is here to verify the social welfare schemes for SCs/STs, claimed that it seemed that around Rs 3 crore to 4 crore under all schemes was not utilised properly and did not reach the beneficiaries.
Addressing a press conference, commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka said, "We had received various complaints that the money under the schemes meant for SCs was not reaching them. So we decided to review the schemes in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts."
Verka said the details provided to them from Amritsar were not satisfactory. He said they had been told that this much amount was spent under a particular scheme, but hadn't been given the names of the beneficiaries.
Giving details, Verka said, "The Amritsar administration claimed that it had distributed Rs 10.5 crore under the Shagun scheme but they have failed to provide a list of the beneficiaries."
About 100 people had met the commission claiming that the money meant for them under the Shagun scheme had not reached them, he added.
"The Commission has taken a serious note of this and we have decided to go ahead with physical verification of beneficiaries under various welfare schemes. We have asked the Amritsar administration to give report of all the schemes in 15 days. If anyone from the administration is found in the wrong, the commission will recommend the registration of an FIR," said Verka.
When asked if the Commission had initiated this after a scam was exposed in Attari constituency where development funds were allegedly embezzled, Verka said, "This is not the case. It is our annual review and will include the entire district."
The commission is verifying Shagun scheme; border area schemes, funds for toilets, sanitation, scholarship schemes and all other schemes related to SCs and STs.
Without naming anyone, Verka said, "The commission is also unhappy with the attitude of the police and vigilance in the recent case where funds meant for development grants worth crores were fraudulently withdrawn from banks. The police have failed to recover the money."
He said they failed to understand as to how such big amounts went into other hands and the utilisation certificates were issued.
When asked as to who was responsible for the anomalies in various schemes, Verka said, "It is the district administration and the deputy commissioner as they monitor the grants and it is their duty to ensure that the money reaches the beneficiaries."
Commission joint secretary T Theethan, who was also present, said, "We have received many complaints and will investigate them."
The commission also mentioned that such review would also be done in all other districts of the state.
SN Meena, undersecretary of the commission, and Rakesh Sharma, senior investigator, were also present.
Tarn Taran district asked to bring record to Delhi
With the Tarn Taran deputy commissioner failing to reach here to provide details of the schemes, the commission said the district administration had been told to bring the entire record to Delhi.