Samana/Chandigarh, 18 December, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
Beginning the first of the slated series of statewide protests, National Scheduled Castes Alliance today formally led the way to the start of ‘Parda Faash’ movement to unearth the scams in the post matric scholarship scheme in Punjab.
Samana, being in the heart of the Chief Minister’s Capt. Amarinder Singh’s home district, Patiala, was chosen as a symbolic warning to the government to take action against the culprits behind fraud of crores of rupees in the post matric scholarship scheme and also to highlight the fraud done by management of Adarsh Polytechnic College, Dhaintal.
Addressing the huge crowd here in Samana, Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of NSCA, highlighted the numerous scams which have been ongoing in the state and the case of Mr. Vikramjeet Singh and his wife, who are running the Adarsh College in Dhaintal where the couple has duped Rs. 1.27 crore of public funds.
He said, “Punjab has become a state where in spite of having almost 40% of the population, the scheduled castes community has been degraded to a standard of a second class citizen. Hundreds of cases of rape, murder, social ostracization and financial frauds in the schemes meant for the community are happening and the state government has kept a blind eye towards all this.”
As per the evidence provided, the money was debited in the name of fake employees by the accused for sake of paying their salaries. From May 2015 till March 2016, Rs. 60, 37,735 had been withdrawn from the NOVA Society account in Corporation Bank.
From April 2016 till March 2017, Rs. 63, 40,800 had been withdrawn by the couple. Scholarship funds had been deposited by the concerned authorities during 2015 to 2017 in the same account which were used by the couple for personal gains.
The Report no. 12 of CAG published in 2018 contains the results of performance audit on the implementation of the ‘Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste Students’ in Punjab, apart from 4 other states.
The audit findings mentioned in this Report are those which came to notice during the course of test audit for the period from April 2012 to March 2017. The Audit Findings include Diversion of Scholarship Funds, Denial/Short reimbursement of Scholarship, Excess payment of Scholarship, Scholarship paid to ineligible students etc.
The National Scheduled Castes Alliance demanded from the State Government that the perpetrators of this financial fraud should be legally prosecuted and the amount which was siphoned off for personal use should be recovered from the couple.
Kainth said, “This is a classic case of nexus between the bureaucracy and education institutions when it comes to public scholarship funds. FIR should be registered against the couple as all the evidence is available which puts the case beyond just reasonable doubt.”
Kainth further asked the State government to setup special investigation cell for looking into more frauds as highlighted by the CAG report as well as other cases which have surfaced since then to investigate and prosecute the defaulting institutions and officials in handling the funds meant for the welfare of the scheduled castes community under the post matric scholarship scheme.
“There will be more state wide protests if the government keeps ignoring our demands. Post matric scholarship scam is just one of the many atrocities that are being met on the scheduled castes community. This is a collective fight and every organization has pledged to support us in this cause against injustice” said Kainth.