Hyderabad, Jan.2 (NSS):Congress MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday accused the BRS Govt of cheating the sarpanches by fraudulently transferring Rs 35,000 crore released by the 15th Finance Commission for Gram Panchayats to other accounts.
In a media statement here today, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that “The State Government first made all 12,751 gram panchayats open an account to facilitate the transfer of the funds from the 15th Finance Commission and then it fraudulently retained the key of the digital signatures of sarpanches and upa-sarpanches, who operated the accounts. The Finance Commission deposited the funds to all Gram Panchayats on December 24. Later, on December 28, the State Govt mopped up the money in these accounts with the digital key to make payments for another scheme through a fraudulent transfer,”
Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Central and State Governments deposit their contributions, based on the recommendations of the Finance Commission, in the bank accounts of gram panchayats as per the Panchayat Raj Act. This has been the practice ever since the relevant law was passed and implemented. The Gram Panchayats get the funds directly into their accounts and then the sarpanches and upa-sarpanches operate them without any interference from the State or Central Govt. However, the BRS Govt played a trick to steal the funds from 12,751 gram panchayats, he alleged.
“Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao calls Telangana a ‘model’ and ‘richest’ State in the country. But in reality, Telangana is facing a severe economic crisis with no funds left for the implementation of schemes. Even the government employees are not getting their salaries on time. Instead of taking corrective measures to streamline the finances, KCR Govt is now resorting to methods like fraudulently stealing funds from one department to pay another. Misuse of keys for digital signatures of Sarpanches and Upa-Sarpanches is totally illegal and must be condemned,”,” he demanded.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Gram Panchayat funds are used for payment of salaries to staff, construction of roads, sanitation and drinking water supply in villages. The State Government releases Rs. 250 crore every month to meet these expenses. However, he said these funds were not released to Gram Panchayats for the last six months. Following pressure from the local villagers, many sarpanches across Telangana State spent money on those works from their savings or borrowings. Such dues amount to nearly Rs 960 crore. Instead of appreciating and honouring such sarpanches, who had continued development works despite the delay in the release of funds, BRS Govt betrayed them by illegally diverting Gram Panchayat funds.
The Congress MP said many sarpanches have committed suicide due to delay in the release of funds by the State Govt. Thousands of other sarpanches, who borrowed money for developmental works with the confidence of getting funds released by the Finance Commission, are now facing a difficult situation as the CM KCR has diverted the entire amount. Stating that CM KCR was directly responsible for the suicides committed by sarpanches, he demanded that the State Govt issue a White Paper on the issue and release all the dues without further delay. He also condemned the illegal arrest and house arrest of Congress leaders to foil their proposed dharna on Monday