Andhra Pradesh

Noose around accused in skill development centres scam tightens

More skeletons are tumbling out of the closet in the case involving financial misappropriation in the Siemens project involving Siemens Industry Software India Ltd and Design Tech Systems. Former MD and CEO of APSSDC Ganta Subba Rao and former director of APSSDC K. Lakshminarayana were sent to judicial remand and were later released on bail.

The Special Investigation Team of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) has accused Mr. Subba Rao and Mr. Lakshminarayana of conniving with Soumyadri Shekhar Bose, Vikas Vinayak Khanvelkar and brought the concept of grant-in-aid in the Siemens project and sent proposals to the government as if the SISW and DesignTech would contribute 90% share as grant-in-kind and government had to contribute only 10%.

“The MD and CEO of APSSDC sent proposals to the government for permitting to enter into an agreement by mentioning the project cost at ₹3,356 crore and percentage share of government at 10%, and percentage share of technology partners as 90% without any logic and rationale for arriving at the total cost of the project,” said a senior official of the SIT.

Later, the government issued an order in June 2015 according permission to APSSDC to enter into an MoU with Siemens Industry Software (India) Pvt., Ltd., New Delhi, and DesignTech, Pune, for setting up skill development centres.

As per the GO, the cost of each cluster was ₹546.84 crore and the Siemens and DesignTech had to contribute 90% of the project cost as grant-in-aid and the remaining 10% had to be contributed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The 10% of the government contribution comes to ₹370.78 crore, including taxes. The total cost of the APSSDC-SIEMENS Project was ₹3,281.05 crore.

The APSSDC released its 10% contribution amounting to ₹371 crore to DesignTech in advance without executing any work and providing any services by the technology partners and even before identifying the educational institutions. The interest accrued on the advance fund given was never factored in, the official said.

The SIT further turned its attention of two officers, Aparna Upadhyayula, IAS U.P. cadre, wife of G.V.S. Bhaskar Prasad (key person of Siemens Project of A.P.), who was appointed as deputy CEO of APSSDC, reportedly against the AIS rules.

It was reportedy further established that the technology partners spent a meagre amount of around ₹130 crore of the 10% government contribution of ₹371 crore for the entire project. This was far less than the total project cost estimated at ₹3,356 crores, and the technology partners (SISW and A-4/DesignTech) allegedly diverted the remaining amount of around ₹241 crores by raising fake invoices and falsely represented and shown as if they had completed the project.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 9:33:10 pm |