House committee to probe illegal parking of RDPR funds

House committee to probe illegal parking of RDPR funds

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A House committee will be constituted to probe into alleged illegal parking of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department funds in banks, originally intended for drinking water projects in rural areas.

During a discussion at the Legislative Council, MLCs cutting across party lines demanded the probe, contending that such an irregularity was impossible without the collusion of RDPR and bank officials. 

The decision for a House committee probe announced by RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa was following a question by BJP MLC Raghunath Malkapure, who raised objections to the fact that none of the erring officials involved in the scam were brought to book.

Rs 685.9 crore parked

According to Eshwarappa, a total of Rs 685.9 crore was illegally parked in 98 accounts, opened without any permission from senior officials of the Department. Though the irregularities began in 2011, a team to investigate the scam was set up in 2015.

Though few officials were suspended for the scam, the suspension orders were eventually lifted. Police also filed a ‘B’ report in one case, where an accused KAS official was booked for criminal conspiracy and the report was not challenged by the government. Malkapure also added that some officials were allowed to return to service as charge-sheets were not filed against them despite their complicity in the case.

Eshwarappa also informed the meeting that the parked funds would have generated an income of Rs 284 crore, if they were deposited in a fixed deposit. “Now, the bank has offered to settle by paying Rs 84 crore. We have also sought the assistance from Finance Department to end the dispute,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council,
S R Patil noted that one of the officials suspended under the scam was eventually promoted, as no action was initiated against him.

BJP MLC Ayanur Manjunath said that a House committee probe was essential as bank officials had colluded with RDPR staff for the scam.

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