CAG pulls up govt over graft in implementation of PMAY | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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CAG pulls up govt over graft in implementation of PMAY

BySharan Poovanna, Bengaluru
Sep 21, 2022 12:26 AM IST

The CAG report stated that out of the 10,188 recipients, 4,446 or 44% were not even part of the prospective beneficiary list, indicating the possibility of irregularities in the implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme.

A comptroller and auditor general (CAG) report tabled in the ongoing session of the state assembly on Tuesday stated that only 12% of original beneficiaries approved by the central sanctioning and monitoring committee (CSMC) were provided actual benefits under the housing for urban poor, while 88% were selected outside the approved criteria.

A CAG report tabled in the ongoing session of the state assembly on Tuesday stated that only 12% were provided actual benefits (HT)
A CAG report tabled in the ongoing session of the state assembly on Tuesday stated that only 12% were provided actual benefits (HT)

“Only 1,600 out of the 12,979 (12%) of original beneficiaries approved by CSMC and attached to approved projects were provided actual benefits under the scheme. Thus, 88% of the recipients of scheme benefits were selected outside the approved DPRs. However, the addition of new beneficiaries was carried out without approval of CSMC in violation of PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) manual,” according to the performance audit of implementation of housing schemes for urban poor in Karnataka.

Further, the report stated that out of the 10,188 recipients, 4,446 or 44% were not even part of the prospective beneficiary list, indicating the possibility of irregularities in the implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme.

The report comes even as the monsoon session of the state legislature discusses scandals that have allegedly taken place under the nose of chief minister Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.

The CAG audit was considered in 20 urban local bodies and stated that the state-level sanctioning and monitoring committee did not “exercise due diligence” in ascertaining the total number of beneficiaries.

“This resulted in inclusion of 7,640 beneficiaries who were not identified in the survey under various projects implemented in these ULBs,” according to the CAG report.

The guidelines that only those below 3 lakh per annum income were eligible were also overlooked as at least 18 out of the 33 beneficiaries of both affordable housing as well as credit-linked subsidised housing had higher incomes than the cut off.

The CAG report also stated only 21,837 out of the approved 3.04 lakh houses were completed under 300 affordable housing projects between 2015-21.

Further, the report on housing for urban poor stated that there were double payments made in over 100 cases.

“The primary control for direct benefit transfer (DBT) payments, viz validation through unique identification (Aadhaar) was not carried out for payments amounting to 172.64 crore made to 12,757 out of 62,648 BLC (beneficiary led individual house construction) beneficiaries. Audit analysis also revealed doubled payments amounting to 1.30 crore in 111 cases,” the report said.

The Congress, the principal opposition party, on Tuesday came down heavily on the Bommai government over the PSI (police-sub inspector) recruitment scandal that has now become an extension of the “40% commission” narrative that has dominated headlines in recent months.

Siddaramaiah, the leader of the opposition, said the BJP government was blaming its predecessors even though the names of several ministers and their close associates have come to the fore in the preliminary investigation.

“I demand that recruitments under different governments be probed by a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge and only then truth will come out,” Siddaramaiah said.

He also demanded the resignation of Araga Jnanendra, minister for home affairs, who the Congress has blamed for the recruitment scandal as well as for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

The PSI scandal is one in which several candidates writing the PSI recruitment exam for the 545 sub-inspector posts held in October last year allegedly used means of fraud to score well.

Six rank winners among 12 have been arrested for fraud in the recruitment exams.

The scam first came to light when officials noticed that candidates who scored high all took the exam at the Kalaburagi centre. The suspicion that a fraud had taken place was confirmed when a police officer told the media that each candidate had paid 5 lakhs to 10 lakh before the exams, HT reported in May.

“We have so far arrested 97 people of which 48 are candidates and 26 are police personnel,” Jnanendra said. This includes an ADGP rank official who was the head of recruitment.

Jnanendra said there were several scams during the Congress-led government (2013-18) to hit back at the opposition. He added that any government post “should not become something that you can buy but go to only those who are eligible”.

Piling allegations of corruption has dented the chances of the BJP and their bid to defend its term in office in the upcoming assembly elections which is now barely a year away.

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