UP govt suspends 12 officials, orders probe over irregularities in panchayat grants

There are allegations that officials distributed the performance grant available under the 14th finance commission to ineligible panchayats in violation of the guidelines.

lucknow Updated: Oct 16, 2017 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP,Yogi Adityanath,Panchayat grants
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The state government had constituted a committee headed by the director, panchayati raj, to select village panchayats for the allocation of the performance grant (PTI File Photo)

The Yogi Adityanath government on Sunday suspended 12 officials, including additional director (administration) Rajendra Singh for alleged irregularities in the allotment of the performance grant to panchayats.

The government has also ordered a vigilance probe into the entire matter.

Minister of state for panchayati raj (independent charge) Chaudhary Bhupendra Singh issued the orders after chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s approval.

The minister has also ordered departmental action against 13 other officials, including retired director, panchayati raj, Anil Damle. The other senior officials who have been suspended include chief finance and accounts officer Keshav Singh, joint director SK Singh Patel and deputy director Girish Chandra Rajak.

“Of them, Rajendra Singh is a PCS officer while the rest come from the department,” director, panchayati raj, Vijay Kiran Anand told HT, confirming the action.

There are allegations that the officials distributed the performance grant available under the 14th finance commission to ineligible panchayats in violation of the guidelines.

The state government had constituted a committee headed by the director, panchayati raj, to select village panchayats for the allocation of the performance grant. The committee had identified 1798 village panchayats for the allocation of Rs 699.7529 crore grant during 2016-17.

Present director, panchayati raj, Vijay Kiran Anand on the close analysis of audit reports, chanced upon various irregularities and inconsistencies in the selection of panchayats as well as allocation of the performance grant to them.

This prompted the state government to issue directives to the district magistrates on July 26 to ban any further use of the performance grant even though Rs 107 crore out of the Rs 699.75 crore had already been withdrawn by panchayats from their bank accounts by then.

It was found that the performance grant was allotted to a number of panchayats without the district panchayati raj officers’ mandatory recommendations and audit of the panchayats concerned.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 00:27 IST