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'Diversion' of funds issue leads to noisy scenes

Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Monday on the issue of "diversion" of central government funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 26, 2012 15:15 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times

Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Monday on the issue of "diversion" of central government funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.

The issue was taken up during the question hour by Congress MLAs Kewal Singh Dhillon and Brahm Mohindra. Kuljit Singh Nagra, another MLA of the opposition, even demanded that a committee of the Vidhan Sabha should be constituted to investigate into the issue.

Congress MLAs asked finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa to specify the amount of grants received by the state government from the Centre under various schemes in the last five years, along with department-wise details of diversion of funds. They also asked the government to reply on its plans to divert the funds sanctioned for a particular purpose, and whether permission had been sought for it from the Centre.

Though Dhindsa refused to accept that central funds were diverted, he admitted that in the last five years, an amount of Rs 11,426 crore had been received under central schemes. Dhindsa said some central funds were sent directly to respective departments, such as Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan funds to the education department and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana funds to the PWD, and not included in the consolidated budget. Dhindsa's reply gave way to noisy scenes when everybody on the opposition benches stood up and flayed the government, seeking a probe by a Vidhan Sabha committee.

Congress MLA SS Giljian asked about the proposal to upgrade Tanda sub-tehsil to sub-division on the pattern of Dasuya. To this, revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia simply said, "No proposal," prompting the MLA to seek a detailed reply.

On a question asked by SAD MLA Daljeet Singh Cheema, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the government was creating a separate cadre of teachers to be posted in border and kandi areas, as teachers were not willing to get posted in government schools located there. But when Congress MLA Ajitinder Singh Mofar asked the minister to give the same treatment to schools on the Haryana and Rajasthan border, Maluka said "border means international border and not state border".

Reacting to a reply by health minister Madan Mohan Mittal that the government was seeking feedback from specialist doctors about the station of their choice, the Congress MLA Rana Gurmeet Sodhi asked that in case a doctor does not choose a particular dispensary, it would remain without a doctor. The issue was raised by Congress MLA SS Giljian, who wanted to know how many specialist doctors had joined duty from 2007-12. Mittal said that out of 436 doctors recruited, 122 joined duty.

Similarly, Dhanula Congress MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon said no doctor was posted in the government dispensary in his constituency despite four sanctioned posts. "Three posts are yet to be filled, and the fourth doctor is not joining. Where will people go for treatment?" he asked.

First Published: Jun 26, 2012 14:18 IST