New Delhi, December 24: While PM Narendra Modi justifies bombing of 86 % of cash of Indians as a fight against corruption and black money, the internal plague of treachery and plunder in the government bodies stay untouched till date.
Former chief vigilance officer (CVO), Satish Verma of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has once again claimed that top government officials have accepted unjustified “hospitality” and “gifts” costing lakhs of rupees to PSU. He also alleged that presenting inflated bills in the official records is a common practice by these officials.
Sent to the ministry, CBI and Chief Vigilance Commissioner this July, the report details “unauthorised” car hires of lakhs by ministry officials. Verma also attached the bills and memos along the report. The report contains details of money spent on Power Ministry officials by NEEPCO between May 2014 and March 2016. IT is one of the nine reports being submitted by Verma during his tenure as the PSU’s CVO between October 2014 and July 2016.
The report by CVO Satish Verma states: “MoP is the administrative ministry of the Govt. of India having oversight over NEEPCO and it is impermissible that NEEPCO should spend serious public money for entertaining MoP officials… It is not the purpose of hospitality expenses to be spent on officials of the MoP. Such powers are given to CPSE (Central Public Sector Enterprise) officers for business development.”
The former CVO red marked “hospitality bills” worth Rs 20 lakh of Power Ministry officials which included expenses for meals, ranging from eat outs at five-star hotels in Delhi, to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Baskin Robbins, a box of chocolate, even home delivery from Domino’s.
Other means of expenses included teakwood cabinet for the Personal Secretary to the Union Power Minister; an iPad Air 2 for the Secretary; payment of a Vodafone bill for a Special Secretary; and a mobile handset for an Additional Secretary.
The mention bills also highlighted dry fruits worth Rs 10.6 lakh, expenses on turmeric and ginger, and reimbursements claimed for money spent in a movie theatre in Shillong.
Gifts mentioned not gifts but office equipment: NEEPCO
Earlier Verma charged “elaborate conspiracy” that “may extend up to Rs 450 crore” by a relative of Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, contractors, NEEPCO officials and local officials in the construction of two dams for the 600-MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project in Arunachal Pradesh.
He mentioned highly inflated bills to defraud the PSU and the government of funds and produced an audio CD of sub-contractor Goboi Rijiju on December 29, 2015 in which the latter says “any help you need from Bhaiya (MoS Kiren Rijiju)”.
Meanwhile MoS Rijiju and the Power Ministry denied these charges.
Soon after the Verma had sent the report, he had been transferred by NEEPCO to the CRPF in Tripura.
NEEPCO in a press statement clarified that “No gifts were given to any MoP officials during the period. The list of gifts mentioned cannot be construed as gifts as these are mostly miscellaneous office equipments/ data cable, etc., which were given for official use.”