State Govt likely to order CBI probe
R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, June 19 – The Assam Government is contemplating instituting a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the financial dealings of the autonomous councils, which are facing serious charges of irregularities. However, the final decision in this regard will be taken only after the completion of the preliminary investigation by the State Government.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Minister in charge of Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes, Pramila Rani Brahma admitted that there have been allegations of large-scale irregularities in several autonomous councils of the State and the Government has constituted a committee comprising senior officers to investigate into the matter. She revealed that the committee has started investigation of documents relating to financial dealings of the Mising, Tiwa, Deuri and Rabha autonomous councils. The committee has already checked the relevant files and physical verification will start immediately after completion of the process of checking the files.
Brahma said that the issue of instituting CBI probe into the irregularities was under serious consideration of the Government. However, she said that the Government would wait for the report of the committee formed to examine the financial dealings of the councils “so that we know the extent of the irregularities committed before handing over the cases to the CBI,” she added.
The Minister admitted that some glaring irregularities were noticed in the financial dealings of the Mising Autonomous Council during a preliminary investigation. She said that a huge amount of money was released in the name of some non-government organisations but no one knew for sure where the money was spent. She said that orders for release of substantial amounts were issued on plain papers without mentioning the projects for which the same was released, which was a violation of the financial rules. Similarly, orders for release of funds were issued on plain papers in the Deuri Autonomous Council also, while, personality clashes among leaders of Deuri community also created problems for the Government, she added.
Brahma admitted that there was an urgent need for bringing in financial discipline in all the autonomous councils and the WPT and BC Department had already requested the Finance Department to ensure that the financial dealings of the councils were audited regularly by competent authorities like the Accountant General. She said that there was also need for going for training of the members of the autonomous councils on financial dealings.
The Minister also admitted that in the discussions with the Government, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), which was formed under the provisions of the amended Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, called for audit of the accounts of the Council to dispel doubts from the minds of the people. Source: Assam tribune