STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 12th Apr: Even as the scam of forged CDA is still a burning topic, Congress party has brought up another multi-crore scam and this time, the financial involvement is more than Rs 57 crore meant for construction and renovations of block offices and other infrastructure of the newly created districts.
Informing this to media persons at Congress Bhawan here on Thursday, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesperson MLA Kh Joykisan accused the government of misappropriating huge amount of public fund by misleading the public with its 'cosmetic' initiatives.
Recalling how the key persons of the government claimed that the new government will carry out its duties like magic, Joykisan said that it is indeed like a magic that the government made the public fund vanish in thin air amid the rush hour of financial year end.
He pointed out that the government earmarked more than Rs 30 crore for construction of 27 block offices and renovation of 43 block offices in the 2017-18 budget. An amount of Rs 5 crore each was also earmarked for infrastructure development for newly created Kakching, Noney, Pherzawl, Tengnoupal & Kamjong districts and Rs 1 crore each for Jiribam and Kangpokpi districts totalling to Rs 27 crore. However, neither the earmarked funds are in the state’s account nor released to the project implementing agencies, he said.
If the government could not complete encashment of the fund, it could be deposited to the major account head 8449 and 8443 of the state finance department. Even if the government deposited the fund in these account heads, people need proof from the government, he demanded.
Congress has no objection in CBI taking statement of former chief minister O Ibobi over the charge of issuing advance fund without bank guarantee. In fact, the party will never defend its members if they are found guilty, the MLA maintained.
He said that the government planned to inaugurate the incomplete project during the Imphal visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later, the plan was cancelled. However, the BJP government issued cheque of Rs 10 crore for completion of mini secretariat at Mantripukhri without completing the project, he said.
On the other hand, several contractors are caught by surprise when the government made a contractor scapegoat over the forged CDA scam. It is obvious that some high profile persons from the government must be involved in forging the CDAs and sending them to the chief engineer.
At the same time, the government spokesperson claimed that the cheques issued were for completed projects and yet it instructs officials to recover the withdrawn amount. Such confusing statement from the spokesperson of the government should not be trusted by the public, he said. Joykisan further informed that Congress will bring up several other scams of the BJP government one by one.
Congress MLAs N Loken, K Ranjit, K Govindas, Abdul Nasir, Okram Surjakumar, Md Fajur Rahim and ex-MLA Md Amin Shah were also present at the press conference.
Mention may be made that on april 6, MPCC alleged that the BJP government covered up facts on the issue of forged CDA and claimed that the state exchequer lost more than Rs 30 crore and not Rs 3 crore as claimed by the government.
MPCC also challenged the transparency of the BJP government and demanded a probe by a joint committee of ruling and opposition members along with media persons.
A day after the MPCC charges, works minister Th Biswajit, who is also the government spokesman, accused the Congress party of taking undue political advantage over the issue of withdrawal of money by some contractors using fake CDA.