NCRMI Operating Bank Account of a Defunct Charitable Society
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As misappropriation and mismanagement of funds being sanctioned for the development of coir sector continues to thrive in the state, National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI), an arm of the Coir Ministry, is operating the bank account of a defunct charitable society - Centre for Development of Coir Technology (CDOCT) - for parking its leftover funds for reasons yet to be explained.
As per the documents accessed by ‘Express’, NCRMI has parked its leftover amount in the bank account of CDOCT. The NCRMI, was registered as a Society under the Charitable Societies Act in 2005, even when a similar organisation with the same objectives was existing under the name of Centre for Development of Coir Technology (CDOCT) registered in 1994. The Board of Directors of the CDOCT had decided to merge it with the NCRMI at its last meeting on December 17, 2004.
But in violation of all norms, the NCRMI, represented by its Director, is using the Seal and Treasury/Bank account (TPA 252/Vellayambalam) of CDOCT masquerading as the director of CDOCT with the alleged full knowledge and connivance of the higher-ups in the Coir Department and Coir Ministry.
The information sought under RTI Act, reveals that TPA 252 was an account operated by CDOCT. The leftover Plan Fund being allotted to NCRMI and its interest should have been remitted to the government as per the Kerala Financial Code.
J Sudhakaran Nair, a social activist and a native of Vanchiyoor here who has filed a complaint seeking a Vigilance probe into the alleged corrupt dealings involving crores of rupees pertaining to the proposed Kerala Coir Marketing Consortium (KCMC), a yet-to-be-incorporated company sponsored by the Coir Ministry, has availed of the information under RTI Act that TPA 252 was in the name of Director CDOCT.
“During the period since May 27, 2010 to March 31, 2014, Rs 12.92 crore was parked in this account. Vallayambalam sub treasury officer has issued certificate in this regard. As on March 31, 2014, there is a balance of Rs 68,458,735,” Sudhakaran Nair said.
However, the officials concerned had different takes on the issue. While NCRMI Director K R Anil feigned ignorance about such an account, Coir Development Director K Madanan said that the account should have been in the name of NCRMI.
“I don’t know whether CDOCT had such an account still operational with the treasury at Vellayamblam. But NCRMI has an account and we have parked money there,” K R Anil told ‘Express’. When contacted, Coir Development Director Madanan said NCRMI must have inherited the account of CDOCT and there was nothing wrong in it.
“Both CDOCT and NCRMI are same. In fact, it was to give a national orientation that NCRMI was set up after de-registering CDOCT. I don’t think there is any problem in continuing with the same,” he said. But it has been pointed out that it is against the Charitable Societies Act, 1955. When pointed out that information accessed under RTI Act clearly states that CDOCT’s account is still operational, he, however, said as NCRMI was a separate organisation, he had no access to its account details.