I don’t know how much money has been swindled, some recovery has been made: CMO
Srinagar, Mar 14: Alleged misappropriation of funds while withdrawing salaries of the employees of Health department in central Kashmir’s Budgam district has opened a Pandora’s Box.
Sources told Precious Kashmir that some officials posted with the Block Medical Office (BMO) Budgam have accused the top officials of fraudulently withdrawing their salaries and not crediting it into their respective accounts.
They said that more than Rs 50 lakhs meant for the salary of the employees were withdrawn from the state ex-chequer but the amount was not credited to their accounts. They were informed that salaries couldn’t be withdrawn due to non-availability of the budget.
An insider revealed that lakhs of rupees (salary of doctors and paramedics) was withdrawn fraudulently. “Staff is without salary for the past two months as officials have swindled the amount,” he added.
An official said that the BMO trying to pass the buck and is blaming a Senior Assistant for a goof-up. “The BMO is trying to save her skin. She (BMO) is the Drawing and Disbursing Officer and without her signature salary could not have been withdrawn,” the official added.
He said, “The Chief Medical Officer too is feigning ignorance about the matter. He is pretending as if he doesn’t know anything. Rs 50 lakhs is a huge amount and it cannot be embezzled at a lower level. Top officials have to approve the salaries before being withdrawn and have to ensure that these have been disbursed into the accounts of the employees.”
Sources said that such “misappropriations have been taking place in the past too but went unnoticed.”
They said, “The Government should take a cognizance of the matter and handover the case to Vigilance Organization or the Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch. If a thorough probe is conducted lot of skeletons would tumble out.”
An insider said, “Officials at the top are creating a notion that all is well and a probe has been ordered but the fact is that internal enquiries don’t help anyone’s cause. As soon as such issues settle down inquiries are shelved and routine work resumes.”
Sources said that in the past also many such scandals have come to fore where the salaries were withdrawn on fraudulent names. “The salaries were withdrawn for the employees who were not on rolls,” they alleged.
When Precious Kashmir contacted the Chief Medical Officer Budgam he said, “I don’t know how much money has been swindled. As far as I know some recovery has been made. I have apprised my seniors about the matter and the probe is on.”
An official while mocking at CMO’s comment said, “It’s the CMO who has to check what happened to the money and where it went. It’s surprising that he is feigning ignorance about the matter.”