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Congress uproar over panchayat funds being transferred to

Press Trust of India  |  Raipur 

The opposition today created an uproar in the Assembly accusing the BJP government in the state of weakening institutions.

Soon after the Question Hour, MLAs including Dhanendra Sahu, Satyanarayan Sharma and partys state chief Bhupesh Baghel, raised the issue of the state governments recent decision of using funds, allocated under the 14th Finance Commission for the Panchayat and Rural Development department, to implement a telecommunication scheme in the state.

The House was adjourned twice amid ruckus by the members. However, the ruling BJP had already announced that it was withdrawing this decision.

Accusing the government of trying to finish PRIs, Congress members said that the government was pressurising panchayats to transfer 70 per cent of funds allocated under the 14thFinance Commission, for enhancing basic amenities and development within the panchayats, to the CHiPS for Sanchar Kranti Yojna (SKY) scheme. It alleged that the funds had even been transferred in several places.

The Congress said that the move was done to give undue benefit to mobile companies, adding that the was providing Rs 600 crore to them to establish mobile towers.

The Congress said that the panchayats, its sarpanch and secretaries were being pressurised to sign the consent letters and in some instances, the amount was transferred without the signature of and directive from account holders. The party said that this amounted to a serious offence.

Baghel described the step as "organized loot" and said, without the signature of the sarpanch and panchayat representatives, money had been transferred.

Baghel questioned as to what would happen to the money that had already been transferred.

While Congress members demanded a discussion, rejected their demand saying that the opposition would get ample time during discussions on the budget demand proposals.

Amidst sloganeering by the Congress, the proceedings had to be adjourned two times.

Despite the motion being rejected, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister replied to the allegations stating that the allocations were made for providing basic amenities and development of villages and the had included under it.

He, however, added that the had now decided to return the amount to the panchayats, adding that the transfer would be done in the next 15 days.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 22:40 IST