Centre penalizes JK Govt for misuse of funds
MHRD Seeks Return Of Rs 2.64 Cr With Interest
Srinagar, July 25: Misuse of funds under centrally sponsored schemes is proving dear for Jammu and Kashmir as the centre is slapping penalty on the state government in the form of interest apart from seeking return of funds. The Centre has asked Jammu and Kashmir government to return Rs 2.64 crore, utilized in violation of the norms, along with 10 percent interest.
Authoritative sources told Greater Kashmir that the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has shot a letter to the state government, seeking refund of Rs 2.46 crore, alongwith 10 percent interest, which were diverted for unapproved activities by the School Education Department.
According to sources, the move of the Centre to charge interest on such funds from J&K came in the wake of non-seriousness of the State Government to return the Central funds diverted between 2001 and 2005. During the said period, bureaucrat turned legislator, Vijay Bakaya, retired bureaucrat A S Bhat and Public Service Commission member MM Bhat were administrative heads of the School Education Department.
The Centre, according to the sources, had approved assistance of Rs 15.16 crore including Rs 2.46 crore for salary of vocational teachers under its program – vocationalisation of Secondary Education - in March 2001 for introduction of computer education in 322 higher secondary schools and 40 high schools.
According to the documents, Rs 2.46 crore pumped by Centre for appointing contractual teachers were utilized for training 849 in-service teachers.
The sensational disclosure of misuse of funds came to fore during the audit and MHRD was also pulled up by Director General of Audit Central Revenues for “ineffective monitoring of utilization of grant” released to JK.
“State Government had included Rs 2.46 crore spent on the training of 849 in-service teachers although the Ministry had not sanctioned any amount for training,” reads the document.
The official documents reveal that MHRD has been consistently pursuing the matter of refund of the diverted amount with State Government over the last six years.
Sources disclosed that Shastri Bhavan has raised the issue of return of the funds with successive Chief Secretaries and Commissioner Secretaries of the School Education Department in J&K, since 2006.
“In the past, MHRD has written letters to successive Chief Secretaries C Phunsog and B R Kundal as well as to Khazir Muhammad Wani and Ghulam Ahmad Peer when they headed the administrative departments of School Education Department seeking refund of the diverted money,” sources added.
An official wishing anonymity said that some of the officials posted in Civil Secretariat and Directorate of School Education deliberately played the “mischief” of diversion of funds to make quick bucks.
“The officials violated the norms to get the commission from the private institutions where they got in-service teachers trained,” he alleged.
A complaint regarding irregularities in teacher training was also filed in State Accountability Commission wherein it was alleged that tenders were invited for training of teachers in 2001 when a fee of Rs 29,750 per teacher was fixed for three institutes.
“The state government continued to pay the fee of Rs 29,750 per teacher, although several other institutes had offered the one-year course at a fee of Rs 6,600 per trainee,” the complainant had alleged.
However, Commissioner Secretary, School Education, FA Faktoo said he has neither any intimation nor information about any such move of the Centre.
Pertinently, the centrally sponsored schemes particularly Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) are marred by irregularities and poor implementation in J&K.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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