UP: Over Rs 5 cr meant for Panchayati Raj fraudulently withdrawn

Allahabad: A case has been registered by the district administration here in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of more than Rs five crore released by the Uttar Pradesh government for the Panchayati Raj department during the financial year 2009-10, a senior official said Friday.

"Fraudulent withdrawals to the tune of Rs 5.78 crore have come to light and an FIR has been lodged at the Colonelganj police station here against a clerk of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), the then Treasury Officer (TO) and the then Manager of the Punjab National Bank's Rajrooppur branch", District Magistrate Alok Kumar told reporters.

He said the irregularities were detected during the audit of the money released by the state government in 2009-10, in accordance with recommendations of the Twelfth Finance Commission, for strengthening of Panchayati Raj institutions.

"The state government had released more than Rs 21 crore and records of expenditure were available for just about Rs 16 crore.

An inquiry was conducted by Chief Development Officer of the district, GS Navin Kumar, and based on the report the FIR was lodged late last night", the DM said.

He said those named in the FIR included DRDA clerk Brijesh Singh, the then PNB Branch Manager Satyadev (now retired) and the then to Vinay Kumar Srivastava, at present posted in Pratapgarh district.

Besides, the DM said, a recommendation has been made for suspending and initiating departmental proceedings against District Panchayati Raj Officer Om Prakash Srivastava, who has been found guilty of negligence in the inquiry.