Mega Action on Corruption by Mann government: suspends six employees involved in Rs 39-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam
Congress, SAD-BJP jeopardised the future of SC students, no action taken in this multi-crore scam during their regime: Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Cheema
Chandigarh : In consonance with the commitment of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to provide a transparent and corruption free system, the state government has sacked six government employees for their involvement in Rs 39-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam during previous government.
Addressing a press conference, Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema along with Minister for Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Dr Baljit Kaur said that after conducting an investigation in this multi-crore scam, the department has found the involvement of six employees including four officials were from the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities and two worked in the Finance Department.
They were dismissed from the job at once and further inquiry has been recommended to the Punjab vigilance for a thorough probe into this scam.Disclosing the further details, the Cabinet Minister Dr Baljit Kaur said that the scam took place in 2019 during Congress government and discrepancies amounting to Rs 55 crore were detected, of which over Rs 16 crore access payment was allocated to some colleges. Instead of taking action against these erring institutes, benefits running into crores were extended to them.
She said that the probe found that there was no proof of the remaining amount of Rs 39 crore, which was disbursed to some fake colleges during the Congress government in which then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had given a clean shit to then Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, in this case.
The minister said that the departmental investigation revealed that disbursal of scholarship to the eligible SC students were ignored and undue benefits were given to certain private institutes.
The Cabinet Minister said that the previous government had ordered an audit to unearth the scam, however, rather than collecting the deceitfully given funds to ‘fake colleges’, the Congress government re-ordered the audit and gave more funds to these colleges.
Training guns at Congress, Cheema said that their leaders held protests in Vidhan Sabha and were vocal on probing the wrongdoings in the disbursal of the scholarship during Akali government but when it formed the government, Congress didn’t take any action against anyone, which clearly indicates that Akali and Congress were hand in glove.
He said that the during Congress government from 2017 to 2020, this scholarship was stopped and over 9.50 lakh eligible students didn’t get the benefit, which led to decline in number of students applying for scheme in 2021.
He said that the number of students applying for the scheme drastically reduced to 1.95 lakh in 2021-22 compared to past years due to non-disbursal of funds to eligible students. But this time, SC students expressed their faith in AAP government and around 2.50 lakh students have already applied for the scheme so far and the portal is open for students till March 31 and this figure is expected to cross 3 lakh mark.
Reiterating his government’s dogged determination towards corruption, Advocate Cheema said that Punjab government led by CM Mann is committed to provide top-class education to students and a transparent government to people of Punjab.
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