Chandigarh, August 24, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
“It seems the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal has become habitual at mouthing blatant lies with regard to the development centric initiatives being carried out in the State as is crystal clear from the latter’s unsubstantiated allegations concerning imaginary scam of Rs. 1000 crore in MGNREGA scheme.”
Branding the allegations as completely baseless without even a tinge of truth, the Senior Congress leader and Cabinet Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the people of Punjab are now well conversant with the tactics adopted by the akalis about crying wolf whenever they happen to be out of power and completely forgoing the same when they hold reins of the State.
It is this very deplorable conduct that has led to the akalis being reduced to third spot in the Vidhan Sabha polls which is a precursor to their political decimation, said the Congress leader.
Laying bare the facts, S. Randhawa said that Sukhbir is leveling charges of financial bungling of Rs. 1,000 crore in MGNREGA but perhaps would do very well to keep himself abreast of the fact that the government has sanctioned budget of Rs. 800 crore under MGNREGA for this year and till date Rs. 390 crore have been spent out of it.
Furthermore, out of this amount of Rs. 390 crore, a sum of Rs. 88 crore has been spent on purchase of material. The present Government which took over in 2017, has spent only Rs. 520 crore on the material purchase.
“Then how come the SAD President reached the magical figure of Rs. 1000 crore. He must be a mathematician of a very high order to come to such a conclusion.” said the Cabinet Minister adding that the SAD President should desist from issuing such irresponsible and devoid of fact statements.
The Congress leader further divulged that under MGNREGA scheme, 60 percent grant could be used for labor and rest 40 percent could be used for material and till now their government has utilized 22 percent funds reserved for material purchase. He also cleared that for the payments of labour, the union government directly transfers the amount in the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
Under MGNREGA, around 2.3 lakh workers have been given employment in Punjab and the figure was just 60,000 at the time of imposition of lockdown in the state. He added that as many as 114 lakh man-days have been generated till now, averred S. Randhawa.
Taking the attack right into the akali ranks, S. Randhawa revealed that during the tenure of SAD-BJP Government 2016-17, the budget under MGNREGA only amounted to Rs. 531 crore but the present dispensation intends to take it to the level of Rs. 1,500 crores.
“Your political chicanery could cost dear to 2.5 lakh needy families out of which 68 percent are Dalits’’, said the Congress leader and asked the Sukhbir to back his arguments with hard facts and should not build castles in the air. Perhaps, Sukhbir should also introspect deeply on why the century old party SAD has come to dire straits now instead of resorting to subterfuge to regain the lost ground.
S. Randhawa also dared Sukhbir Badal to pick any village of Dera Baba Nanak and prove irregularity of even a single penny.