Bangalore: Shettar Admits to Rs 600-crore Employment Scam
New Delhi, Sep 19 (DHNS): Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday admitted that the charges of misuse of over Rs 600 crores of central government money deployed for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) were true, but said the whole truth would be known only after the probe was over.
The cases are being investigated at three different levels. A central team, an ombudsman and local authorities are also conducting inquiries into the cases in Gulbarga and Tumkur districts of the state.
“Truth will only come out when reports of these inquiries are submitted,” Shettar said.
The union ministry of rural development found a discrepancy of use in MGNREGS funds in Karnataka in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
According to an internal report of the ministry, a central monitoring committee team, while carrying out spot studies at different places in Karnataka, found that over Rs 600 crore were shown as wages distributed to workers where no such labourers existed.
Initially, the state government claimed that these funds were distributed to labourers who had availed the jobs under the scheme. However, state’s claim was found bogus when an inspection was done.
The Karnataka government even requested the union ministry to consider these funds as administrative expenditure and close the issue. The Ministry which is probing the matter will summon the state government officials again to seek their explanation. If states, including Karnataka fail to set all anomalies right and address the complaints in job guarantee scheme, the ministry has threatened to stop funds.