Leader of Opposition in Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari today wrote to Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan that the state government is misappropriating the central government funds on mid-day meal scheme. He also urged Mr Pradhan to send a central audit team immediately for a detailed scrutiny and inquiry at all levels in the greater interest of school students.
He alleged that the funds to feed school students for their nutrition and health, has been unethically diverted by the state government to serve their own vested interests. He further alleged that the diversion, unspent or excess funds of midday meal scheme or PM Poshan, are being committed from the offices of the district magistrates (DM), sub divisional officers (SDO) and block development officers (BDO) and municipalities. “Misappropriation of unspent or excess funds by incurring non-permissible expenditure such as using the funds for personal benefits or for contingent expenditure of other state government schemes like Duare Sarkar, printing and distribution of chief minister’s ‘subheccha barta’ (greetings), flex and leaflet printings of information education communication (IEC) materials of state government schemes, contingency expenses of panchayat and municipalities elections, ” he wrote to Union education minister.
He also alleged that during various state government meetings or events such as administrative review meetings in several districts, the amount provided by the state government for the administrative expenses or contingency is almost nil or extremely insufficient. “Documents of Budgetary provisions and allotment would substantiate this. Other than that the expenses for the mobilisation of TMC cadres or political persons for attending such so-called government events are also met with the diverted funds,” he said in his letter. “All these expenditures are carried out by maintaining false vouchers against such causes.
A simple analysis of previous audit query reports of these above-mentioned offices, if scrutinized in detail, would reveal all the misdeeds of financial indiscipline,” he further mentioned in the letter. Mr Adhikari said that with the recent implementation of public financial management system (PFMS) the funds used to be channelised and diverted or suballocated through banks savings accounts. “As a result of this, the sub-allotting authorities such as DMs, SDOs, BDOs and municipalities used this mode for accumulating huge account balances by intentional non-utilisation of mid-day meal funds so that interest could be accrued unscrupulously,” he said.