This refers to the story published on May 24, headlined “Financial irregularities in NMML, says Audit Report.”
There has been some unnecessary and unseemly controversy regarding the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF) without ascertaining the facts. The Fund has been undertaking the publication of the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru from 1970. Already 55 volumes have been published covering Nehru's life from 1905 till 1957, and work is in progress to complete the project within five years.
The publication of the volumes was taken over by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) from April 2008. The NMML sought a grant of Rs. 5 crore from the Government of India to be utilised over a period of five years. The then Minister of Culture informed the Chairman of the Executive Council of the NMML that the government had in principle approved Rs. 5 crore to meet the cost of publication of the Selected Works...
The grant of Rs. 5 crore was made for the specific purpose of bringing out the Selected Works... and is being used for that purpose. This money was granted by the Culture Ministry with the full knowledge that it was for the Selected Works Project being done by the JNMF. The grant was passed on to the JNMF by the NMML with the approval of its Finance Committee and Executive Council. The grant was received in two instalments of Rs. 3.3 crore and Rs. 1.7 crore in March and May 2009.
In the JNMF the amount has been kept in a separate bank account, and is being spent exclusively on the Selected Works Project. The audited statement of accounts is presented to the NMML. Some money has been parked in fixed deposits to earn interest, which will also be used for the Project. It is therefore reiterated that the funds in question have neither been diverted nor kept in abeyance, but are in fact being utilised for the purpose for which they were sanctioned.
Dr. Bhashyam Kasturi,
Head, Research & Publication Unit,
Nehru Memorial Museum & Library