It’s Naidu’s story, screenplay and direction, asserts AP Finance Minister Buggana
Explains the skill scam from conception of APSSDC to former CM’s arrest
VIJAYAWADA: Asserting that the story, screenplay and direction of the Rs 371 crore Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam was by TDP chief and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said the main objective behind it was to pocket the taxpayers’ money.
Giving a multi-media presentation on the scam from the conception of APSSDC to the TDP chief being remanded to judicial custody by the ACB court and analysing the money trail in the case, Buggana said, “Naidu had cheated the people of the State and played with the future of youth.”
Despite the case hearing in the ACB Special Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court, on the demand of the Opposition and with an intention to place the facts straight before the people, a short discussion on the skill development corporation scam was taken up in the Assembly on Friday.
“The former CM, who believes in turning every crisis into an opportunity, had come up with a plan, not to help the youth, but himself,” Buggana observed.When Suman Bose, who claimed to be from Siemens, approached Naidu and made the proposal for setting up skill development centres, he had agreed to it without any hesitation.
“The former CM was so eager to pocket the taxpayers’ money in a short time, that several procedures and rules were given a go by. The very establishment of the APSSDC was done by violating the rules. For any corporation, consent of the cabinet is mandatory, but the APSSDC was set up with an executive order. The then Principal Secretary (Finance) Ajay Kallam, in his file note, clearly mentioned that a prior cabinet approval is required to set up the APSSDC,” he explained.
Further, a private person was made the APSSDC CEO, which should be given to a senior bureaucrat as thousands of crores were involved in the project. Ironically, the same person also held the posts of ex-officio Secretary of Higher Education, Secretary of the APSSDC and ex-officio secretary to the Chief Minister. “The appointments might have been made for free flow of funds of the APSSDC,” he felt.
Elaborating further, he said soon after setting up the APSSDC, GO No 4 was issued on June 30, 2015 approving the establishment of six skill development clusters, comprising one centre of excellence and five skill development institutes, at a cost of Rs 546,84,18,908 each.
“Why was the date not mentioned in the tripartite MoA signed by the Naidu government? On page No 2 of the agreement, the date column was deliberately left blank. Have you ever seen any agreement without a date? Moreover, there was no mention of the GO number on the agreement. Despite having such an incriminating evidence, Naidu is claiming that he isn’t involved in the scam,” Buggana pointed out.
After the YSRC came to power, a forensic audit was conducted, which unearthed several shortcomings. In fact, the signature of Suman Bose was different on two different agreements.
Meanwhile, as part of money laundering case investigation, Suman Bose, VV Khanvelkar and others were arrested by Enforcement Directorate and later by APCID. The investigation into the scam had begun in 2017 itself, and now it is being brought to a logical conclusion, Buggana added.