Assam: 27 Govt officials suspended over corruption; CM demands strict action
Guwahati, March 3: Taking strong cognizance of findings of corruption cases and massive financial irregularities in Directorate of Economics and Statistics in the state, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday issued direction to the departmental officials to take stern action against those involved in such corrupt practices.
It is to be mentioned here that reports of rampant corruption in the Directorate surfaced after Director of Financial Inspections (DFI) conducted an enquiry in the aftermath of receiving complains of irregularities in the office and submitted its report in 2016.
Under 13th Finance Commission Grant, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics under the Planning and Development Department was provided Rs 5.40 crore annually to achieve certain milestones set by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, for the five years duration from 2010-2011 to 2014-15. The aim was to improve the statistical system at State and District Level.
However against this amount, The Directorate could draw a total amount of Rs 10.80 crore only in two instalments (Rs 5.40 crore each) in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and provided Utilization Certificate (UC) for the same.
Suspecting some wrong doing in the whole matter Planning and Development Department asked the Finance department, which is overall responsible for Finance Commission Grants, to conduct an enquiry on the matter.
Following that, the DFI detected serious irregularities and lapses on the part of the officers and staff of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics including misappropriation of government fund.
It was seen that Government money was illegally deposited in the personal accounts of many of the officers and staff of the Directorate.
DFI recommended in its report that the Planning and Development Department should ensure that the entire amount be recovered and deposited in the State Exchequer.
Following that Department has taken several steps and placed ten officers and seventeen staff members of the directorate under suspension.
Moreover, Departmental Disciplinary proceedings have also been drawn against all the suspended officials and staffs including issue of show cause notices to P K Goswami, the Director of Economics and Statistics, Jayanta Sonowal, Manabendra Saha, Deputy Directors of DES and Bimal Kumar Phukan, the then Director who is now retired.
The Assam CM has directed swift completion of departmental proceedings so that those officials involved in corrupt practices and embezzlement of public money can be dealt with strictly for setting an example to all corrupt public servants.
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