CMDRF fraud: Vigilance proposes action against 2 govt employees
Agency also recommends recovering financial aid fraudulently obtained by eight people
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has recommended the state government to initiate disciplinary action against two government employees, who were found to have facilitated irregularities in disbursing financial assistance from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). The anti-graft agency also recommended recovering the financial aid that was fraudulently obtained by as many as eight people.
Vigilance director ADGP Manoj Abraham placed the recommendations in this regard before the government. Though the identities of the officers are yet to be known, sources said they had directly assisted ineligible people to make claims for financial assistance and also supported them in getting the funds released. Meanwhile, the vigilance has registered a case against an Idukki native for receiving financial aid by giving bogus submissions.
The sources said the verification of several beneficiaries is going on and cases would be registered against them if any irregularities are detected.
Massive irregularities were found in disbursing dole outs from the CMDRF during a statewide examination launched this February. During a random checking, it was found that several ineligible people had received pecuniary aid from the fund, which was originally intended to be distributed among the most deprived sections of society.
The vigilance had unearthed a nexus involving government officials and agents, who took a cut for assisting the ineligible to obtain financial support from the CMDRF. It was also found that applications of several people were prepared by a single agent. Following the findings, the vigilance made a slew of suggestions to the government last month.
It recommended that while the applicant moves an application, his Aadhaar-linked phone number or account number should be mentioned in the request form. The details of ration cards were also to be included in the application, it said.
The vigilance also told the government to ask village officers to exercise caution while preparing income certificates of the applicant so that the ineligible are weeded out at the earliest. It also wanted the government to set up help desks at taluk and village levels to assist the public in availing of the CMDRF benefits so that they are not exploited by the agents.
Other recommendations included auditing the funds every six months, raising of current income limit of Rs 2 lakh and due examination of applications received in the offices of the chief minister and the ministers.
AT A GLANCE
During random checking, it was found that several ineligible people received pecuniary aid from the fund
Vigilance unearthed nexus involving government officials and agents, who took a cut for assisting the ineligible to obtain financial support from the CMDRF
Identities of the officers are yet to be known