SRIKAKULAM: Over Rs 15 lakh of the beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was swindled from the accounts by the postmaster at Satiwada village in Gara mandal of Srikakulam district. The scam came to light following complaints from the authorities concerned to the Postal Department which has now launched a detailed probe into the incident.
A few days ago the MGNREGS authorities observed that as against the sanctioned bills amounting to Rs 12,037 and Rs 18,087, the staff of Satiwada post office had withdrawn Rs 62,037 and Rs 78,087 respectively from the MGNREGS accounts. Though it was initially assumed to be a human error caused by making wrong entries, the excess amount was not returned to the accounts. An internal inquiry revealed that such wrong entries were made over a period of time, which in turn exposed that lakhs of rupees were swindled. Upon receiving a complaint, the Postal team led by Srikakulam Postal superintendent J Prasad Babu raided the Satiwada post office and inspected the records which confirmed the defalcation of MGNREGS funds. Satiwada postmaster T Narayana Rao resorted to the wrong entries in the records and had withdrawn over Rs 15 lakh.
“On questioning, Narayana Rao has confessed to it and gave a return statement in this regard. He has repaid about Rs 4.63 lakh to the department. We will conduct a detailed probe into the incident and submit a report to the higher authorities for further action,” Prasad Babu said.