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Rs 2,250 crore scam unearthed in Assam

| MANOJ ANAND
Published : Nov 4, 2016, 9:53 am IST
Updated : Nov 4, 2016, 9:53 am IST

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday directed “drastic action” to reform the social welfare department after a scam of Rs 2,250 crore during the previous Congress regime came to light.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday directed “drastic action” to reform the social welfare department after a scam of Rs 2,250 crore during the previous Congress regime came to light.

Pointing out that an amount of Rs 150 crore was siphoned off every year from the social welfare department of the state for the past 15 years, the chief minister said that his government was committed to punish all those guilty of siphoning the fund meant for the nutrition needs of poor children of the state.

The scam came to light when the BJP government started the process to streamline the functioning of the department. During the review, officials detected nine lakh fake entries of ‘ghost children’ in the list.

The scrutiny of the beneficiaries’ list has reduced the total figure of 44 lakh beneficiary children to 35 lakh. Similarly, 390 fake Anganwadi centres have been detected. These centres were fraudulently entered into the list for siphoning off money.

After the detection, the monthly expenditure required for the supplementary nutrition programme meant for mothers and children has dropped drastically.

Mr Sonowal said that the government would come down heavily on the perpetrators of these irregularities who had taken people for a ride and pocketed public fund.

Terming them criminals of the highest order, the chief minister said that the functionaries of the social welfare department involved, along with the contractors who cooperated, would be put behind the bars.