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BBMP education panel chief rebuts scam charges

Bangalore, Nov 20, 2012, DHNS:
Allegations of large-scale irregularities in the Palike in the outsourcing of teacher jobs and purchase of equipment for schools have triggered a tug-of-war between the chairperson of the standing committee on education and that of personnel and administrative reforms.

The allegations made by V Vagish, the chairperson of the committee on personnel and administrative reforms, on Monday were rebutted on Tuesday by B Govindaraju, his counterpart in the standing committee on Tuesday.

He told reporters that the allegations of embezzlement of Rs 250 crore were unfounded, since the total budgetary allocation in the last six years was only Rs 161.07 crore.

An amount of Rs 94.74 crore was spent on salaries, Rs 7.92 crore for housekeeping, Rs 10.71 crore for mid-day meals, Rs 6.05 crore for uniforms, Rs 4.63 crore for shoes, Rs 1.67 crore for purchase of schoolbags and Rs 4.09 crore for textbooks and note books, he said.

Dismissing the allegations by Vagish that G Shobha, a teacher, drew salaries from two schools, Govindaraju said they were two different women by name G Shobha, working in two different schools. To substantiate his claim, he produced both the women before the media.

Govindaraju said Rs 1.8 lakh had been deposited with the ESI every month. He said, “If there are only 22 people getting ESI benefits, then there was no need to deposit Rs 1.8 lakh every month.”

Tenders invited

Dismissing the allegations that the tender process for outsourcing teacher jobs had not taken place since 2006, he said tenders were invited in 2010. However, he did not say how many bidders had applied.

“There appears to be some mistake in the management of the education department. We will wait for the report by the committee on personnel and administrative reforms, based on which we will take action. If the irregularities are proved, we will not object to probe by any agency,” said Govindaraju.

He said he would lodge a complaint against Vagish with district in-charge Minister R Ashoka and the BJP district president. He said the Standing Committee on Personnel and Administrative Reforms had no right to raid the education department office and that the assessment of the accounts of the department was the prerogative of the Taxation and Finance Committee.

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