For ‘demonstration purpose only’; money promised in bank account still missing
Srinagar: More than three weeks after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti felicitated the best-performing workers of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) at the SKICC, the cheques have been found to be “fake”.
Eighteen SMC workers, a financial consultant, and campaign brand ambassador Bilal Dar were awarded the cheques worth rupees ten thousand each by the CM along with former SMC commissioner Dr Shafqat Khan.
However, the cheques of ICICI Bank didn’t mention any account number and the recipients later got to know that the cheques they received will not be accepted at any bank and neither will they be given new cheques.
The cheques were awarded at a felicitation programme for the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Modi government’s drive for cleanliness.
“We had brought the cheques for demonstration purpose only,” SMC chief accounts officer Ghulam Nabi Bhat told Kashmir Reader.
The recipients said that a few days later when they approached the SMC officials, they were told that new cheques will not be given to them but the amount will be transferred into their bank accounts.
The SMC’s chief accounts officer told Kashmir Reader, “Actually, we later came to know that as per rules we cannot disburse the amount by cheque but will have to transfer the amount making online payments.”
He said that the account numbers of these persons have been collected and payment for fifteen persons has been disbursed.
However, the SMC workers said that they are yet to receive any payment.
Moreover, these “fake cheques” had the signatures of former SMC commissioner Shafqat Khan, which goes against the rules. Officials at SMC said that there should have been the chief accounts officer’s signature on the cheques.
The chief accounts officer said that at the time the cheques were signed he was not in office.
“I was on leave and the cheques were signed in my absence. There should have been joint signatures by me and the SMC commissioner,” he said.
SMC’s brand ambassador Bilal Dar said that he was asked to give back the cheque, three weeks after which he received the amount in his bank account.
At the felicitation event, Mehbooba had complimented the workers of SMC and other civic bodies in the state for working round the clock to make the streets, lanes, parks and other public places clean.
She was quoted saying that these are the people who merit attention and awards from the government and from society.
“Your job is no less important than a doctor, engineer or an officer’s, and for this, all appreciation to you,” she said in her speech at the event.