Legislator alleges embezzlement of funds, Minister says will initiate probe 

Jammu: A Congress legislator on Friday alleged that funds released by union minority affairs ministry for the students of the state were embezzled, saying that the money did not reach to the deserving students.

G M Saroori who represents Inderwal constituency of Chenab area raised the issue during zero hour of the budget session here.

He said the funds released by minority affairs under various schemes for meritorious students were gulped by outsiders illegally.

Saroori read out JK Bank details of Bakhshi Nagar Branch in Jammu and said an amount of over Rs one crore was given to some tour and travel agent and some political party worker who utilized the same money for organising political rallies.

“The funds were meant to be given to meritorious students of minority community but it was fraudulently released from bank and invested for other purposes. The money didn’t reach the deserving students,” he told the House and demanded a probe by Crime Branch.

Saroori read out all the account number details and date of transaction besides designation of people who withdrew funds from the Bank. “One government employee is also involved in this case,” he said.

As the MLA was reading out the details, the ruling party members stated that the issued needs to be thoroughly checked.

“I will resign as MLA if these figures will be incorrect,” Saroori in his reply told the members.

Social welfare minister, Sajad Gani Lone ruled out any role of the department saying the funds from the ministry of minority affairs were directly transferred to the accounts of the students.

He said as per  Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) issued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, GoI, the applicants apply directly on National Scholarship Portal (NSP2.0) of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, GOI, and the applications are thereafter scrutinized online by the Institute concerned and later by District/State level Nodal Officer and are then transferred directly to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, GOI (online) for consideration or selection and grant of Scholarship to the eligible candidates through DBT/PFMS mode.

He said scholarship amount is then credited directly into the bank accounts of the selected applicants by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Lone said the entire process is online and as such there is no scope for transfer of Minority scholarship to the Pvt. Institutes at the State level. However, Ministry of Minority Affairs, GOI shall be requested to apprise the State whether any scholarship amount, meant for the minority community has been directly released in favour of the Institute mentioned by the legislator.

The minister further informed the house that under Merit-Cum Means based scholarship provided by the unions Ministry of Minority, the   scholarship is granted to the students undergoing various Professional/Technical Degree courses within India, having secured 50% or above marks in the qualifying examination and previous class and whose parents/guardians annual income does not exceed Rs.2.50 lakh.

He said under Post-Matric Minority scholarship, the scholarship is granted to the students undergoing various Academic/technical & Vocational Courses within India having secured 50% or above marks in the previous class & whose parents/guardians annual income does not exceed Rs.2.00 lacs are under the Scheme.

Under Pre-Matric Minority scholarship, the students undergoing studies from class 1st to 10th within India having secured 50% or above marks in the previous class & whose parents/guardians annual income does not exceed Rs.1.00 lacs are granted Scholarship under the Scheme, he informed.

 “It is a direct transfer from minority affairs and we don’t have any active role in it. We are passively involved in it,” he said and told the House that the case will be handed over to crime branch for investigation.

“We will also inform ministry of minority affairs about it and whosoever has embezzled the money will have to pay it,” he said.

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