The Punjab government will get probed the alleged diversion of the Post Matric Scholarship scheme SC funds and strict action will be taken against those found guilty, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today.
Responding to a question of Congress MLA Raj Kumar Chabbewal during the Question Hour, the CM assured the House that the entire matter would be thoroughly examined to fix the accountability and identify lapses, if any.
The CM's assurance came amid claims by Minister for Welfare of SC and BC Sadhu Singh Dharamsot that no funds were "transferred" under the post-matric scholarship SC scheme.
Chabbewal had raised the issue of alleged diversion of funds and inordinate delay on the part of the Centre in releasing the sum for disbursement of scholarships under Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for the eligible scheduled caste students.
To which Minister for SC/BC Welfare Sadhu Singh Dharamsot informed the House that the Centre has not disbursed a sum of Rs 717 crore, for the period 2016-17, as a result fee of students could not be paid.
He also said that the chief minister had taken up the issue with the government of India and had gone to Delhi with the Punjab Chief Secretary to pursue the matter and get the funds released.
Congress MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra, describing the delay in release of funds as a serious matter, said the previous SAD- BJP government had allegedly diverted funds meant for SC scholarship and sought a probe into the matter.
Later, Punjab minister Charanjit Singh Channi accused the previous government of not contributing its own share in setting up polytechnic colleges in the state.
Channi, replying to a query of AAP MLA from Budhlada Budh Ram who sought to know whether the building of government polytechnic college at Bareta in Mansa district had been completed, said, "During previous regime, the Centre had allotted Rs 86 crore for setting up polytechnic colleges in the state but the Punjab government did not put in its share".
He alleged that the SAD-BJP regime played with "future of the students" of the state as only buildings were built but no staff was appointed.
Leader of Opposition H S Phoolka then sought to know whether the government had fixed responsibility on any officer or former minister in this regard.
To which Channi replied, "If he starts suspending officials then the entire Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training board will become staff- less."
The minister assured the House that anybody found guilty would not be spared.
Meanwhile, the CM announced that Sultanpur Lodhi city in Kapurthala district would get a complete facelift ahead of the 550th Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Devi to be held in 2019.
Congress MLA Navtej Singh Cheema had demanded that a new and spacious guest house should be constructed at Sultanpur Lodhi as the present PWD building was in deplorable condition.
In response to another question, the CM said the finance ministry will soon release a "white paper" which will highlight financial crisis gripping the state as a result of the mismanagement of the previous SAD-BJP regime.
In reply to demands by several MLAs about deploying more employees in government hospitals to cope with shortage of staff, Amarinder said it was not only the health sector that had been affected by the paucity of funds but other departments were also face the same problem.