‘Send officials who failed to utilise SCP-TSP funds to jail’

When the meeting began, Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge objected to violation of protocol in the conduct of government meetings and programmes in Karnataka.  

Taking serious exception to poor utilisation of funds under the Scheduled Caste Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson and Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge told the State government to send officials responsible for the lapse to jail.

“The funds released for development works under SCP and TSP three years ago remain unutilised due to official lethargy. As per the law, funds released under SCP and TSP must be used in the same year. However, officers in Kalaburagi have not even completed the tender process in most cases. The government should take this seriously and send a few errant officers to jail so that others would learn a lesson,” Mr. Priyank said in a KDP meeting held at Mahatma Gandhi Auditorium in Gulbarga University on Wednesday.

The meeting was chaired by Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani who is in charge of Kalaburagi district.

In their response, some officers admitted that tenders were not opened for works under SCP and TSP as they had received some objections. They also informed that they had written to higher authorities seeking guidance on the issue.

Mr. Nirani directed the officers to complete the tender process and take up pending works immediately.

Reminding the meeting of previous district in-charge Minister Govind Karjol’s promise in the last KDP meeting to conduct an inquiry into complaints about the quality of Mullamari irrigation project within 15 days, Mr. Priyank sought information about the action taken. “Has the inquiry been conducted? Where is the report? What is the action taken?”

In the absence of a senior officer, a junior engineer told the meeting that the project was taken up in 2018 at a cost of ₹124 crores, of which ₹90 crore had been spent to complete around 90% of the work. He promised to complete the remaining work within 5 months.

Intervening at this point, MLC Sunil Valyapure alleged that work on the project was poor right from the beginning and demanded a thorough probe by the Lokayukta. Mr. Nirani promised to summon the senior officer concerned to get the details.

As the meeting began, Mr. Priyank raised objections over what he called violation of protocol in the conduct of government meetings and programmes.

“Yesterday, a vaccine warehouse was inaugurated and the name of Ms. Kaneez Fatima, MLA for Gulbarga North, was dropped from the invitation card. A day before yesterday, a COVID-19 vaccination programme was held in Afzalpur but local MLA M.Y. Patil was not invited. Today, in the KDP meeting, Ajay Singh, Chief Whip in the Legislature, was not invited on the dais. These are deliberate moves to avoid Congress legislators. We never did such things when we were in power,” Mr. Priyank said.

Mr. Nirani admitted to the lapses and apologised. He promised to ensure that such things never happen in the future.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 2:21:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/send-officials-who-failed-to-utilise-scp-tsp-funds-to-jail/article34931182.ece

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