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A hundi to fund a capital

The hundi for donations at A.P. Secretariat in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The hundi for donations at A.P. Secretariat in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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A gleaming steel hundi installed on the premises of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat with ‘Andhra Pradesh Government Capital Development Fund’ inscribed on it was the cynosure of all eyes on Saturday.

Initially, no one had a clue as to whose decision it was to install the hundi – set up at the entrance of the ‘L’ block – when employees had already donated money equivalent to two days’ basic pay towards a fund for the construction of the new capital. Some had even parted with their gold ornaments.

Finally, it turned out that it was the Finance Department’s decision to place two sealed hundis – one at the Lake View Guest House and the other at the Secretariat – as visitors calling on the Chief Minister were leaving cash and valuables towards the capital fund at his office. Keeping track of such donations was becoming cumbersome and the issue was brought to the notice of Finance Department officials by the Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary.

That is when the department directed the Endowments Department to install two hundis so that those visiting the Chief Minister could drop their donations in the container to ensure safe custody of valuables and cash, and to prevent any one from tampering with the contributions, sources said.

The Secretariat Employees’ Association welcomed the arrangement as it would be convenient for visitors to deposit their contributions. Some suggested that taking a cue from the employees, who were among the first to announce their contribution for the capital fund, people’s representatives too should think of donating their monthly emoluments for the cash-strapped State.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:57:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-hundi-to-fund-a-capital/article6229333.ece

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