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Rs 58-cr embezzlement detected in audit of post-matric scholarship scheme: Dharamsot

Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had, on June 16, 2017 ordered the audit of all educational institutions of the state with regard to the scheme from 2011-12 to 2016-17. It will be completed by December 31

punjab Updated: Nov 20, 2017 11:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Rs 58-cr embezzlement,embezzlement,post-matric scholarship scheme
On Union minister for social justice Vijay Sampla’s claim that Punjab had failed to utilise funds under the post-matric scholarship scheme, Dharamsot said it was a misleading statement. (HT File )

Punjab scheduled castes, backward classes and minority welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot has said that an audit of 249 educational institutions in the state had detected embezzlement of Rs 58 crore in implementation of post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes.

Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had, on June 16, 2017 ordered the audit of all educational institutions of the state with regard to the scheme from 2011-12 to 2016-17. This special audit would be completed in all respects by December 31, 2017, the minister told reporters during his visit to the city on Sunday.

“The state government will disburse Rs 115 crore under the scheme after the completion of the ongoing audit.”— Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Punjab SC/BC minister

“All perpetrators of this heinous crime of embezzling money meant for welfare of students belonging to the SC category will be jailed,” he said, adding that two department employees had been suspended and departmental action initiated against three senior officers.

On Union minister for social justice Vijay Sampla’s claim that Punjab had failed to utilise funds under the post-matric scholarship scheme, Dharamsot said it was a misleading statement.

“The state government will disburse Rs 115 crore under the scheme after the completion of the ongoing audit. Many educational institutes have been found with bogus beneficiaries in this audit. We have also recommended the registration of an FIR against the management of a Dera Bassi institute for a scam in the implementation of the scheme,” he added.

He added strict action would be taken against colleges and universities, if any SC student was denied admission and the benefits of the post-matric scholarship scheme was not passed on.

‘5,000 acre of forest land under encroachment’

The minister added that around 5,000 acre of prime forest land was under encroachment, mostly due to the lax attitude and shelter of the previous SAD-BJP leadership. “We have vacated 325 acre of prime forest land in Ludhiana and a massive drive will be launched to vacate all forest land in the state,” he added. On a query on AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, the minister said he should resign.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 11:38 IST