Suryapet: Dalit HRF alleges scam worth crores in Bandhu scheme implementation

Some agencies did not supply vehicles and other material but gave cash to the beneficiaries.
Under the scheme, financial assistance was sanctioned to 2,230 Dalits in Tirumalagiri mandal.
Under the scheme, financial assistance was sanctioned to 2,230 Dalits in Tirumalagiri mandal.

SURYAPET: Various agencies selected to help in implementation of Dalit Bandhu indulged in a scam worth crores, which also led to the state government losing Rs 30 crore revenue. According to Dalit Human Rights Forum, many irregularities occurred in the execution of Dalit Bandhu scheme in Tirumalagiri mandal of Suryapet district in 2022-23.

The then BRS government selected five mandals, including Tirumalagiri, for a pilot project to implement the scheme, which provides one time assistance of Rs 10 lakh to SC families to start their own businesses or entrepreneurial ventures.

Under the scheme, financial assistance was sanctioned to 2,230 Dalits in Tirumalagiri mandal and around 65 to 70 agencies were selected to provide vehicles and other material to the beneficiaries to start their own businesses.

However, some agencies did not supply vehicles and other material but gave cash to the beneficiaries. These agencies allegedly collected nine per cent CGST and equal amount of SGST besides some commission from the beneficiaries but this money was not given to the government.

The government had sanctioned Rs 9,90,000 for each unit, out of which Rs 1,78,000 (18 per cent) was deducted under CGST and SGST.

Speaking to TNIE, Dalit Human Rights Forum state general secretary Praveen said: “These agencies owe more than Rs 30 crore GST to the government.”

“This issue was brought to the attention of authorities several times in the past. But they took no action,” he added.

“The official did not take any action because BRS leaders and people’s representatives were involved in the irregularities that took place in the implementation of Dalit Bandhu scheme,” he said.

Praveen, who collected the details through an RTI, said: “After the Congress formed the government, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy is focussing on the issue of GST collections and arrears. I have faith in the government and officials.”

He also said that he has already submitted a petition to Suryapet District Collector S Venkat Rao, demanding that a probe be conducted into this scam, collect all the outstanding GST amounts, including fine, and take action against the culprits under Section 122-128 of GST Act, 2017.

“If the Collector conducts an investigation, the government will get more than Rs 30 crore. Considering the current (financial) situation, the government can use that amount for other purposes,” he added.

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