The Public Accounts Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha has recommended strict action,including the registration of an FIR,against at least half a dozen senior employees of the transport department for indulging in financial malpractices that has led to the losses worth crores.
The committee,headed by Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra,had revisited the Controller and Auditor Generals (CAG) observations on the department made from 2008 to 2010 and had laid bare rampant corruption in the transport department.
The report states that cases regarding recovery of lakhs of rupees from various transport authorities have been kept pending for years rendering the amount unrecoverable. In several such cases the committee has asked the department to fix responsibility of officers.
It has recommended the registration of criminal cases against those employees who delayed,by several months,depositing government money with the department.
The committee has also taken the lid off a scam in the running of Punjab buses to and from Chandigarh. Darshan Singh Shiwalik,member of the committee while presenting the report in the House Monday made an unprecedented request to speak about the report. Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal allowed the request only after he was informed of the requisite section of the Committees constitution that allowed members to make a reference to their report.
Shiwalik said that though the distance from Mohalis border to Kharar is 8 km,the transport department charges the commuters for 13 km. While this has led to the officials of the department having made lakhs on the extra diesel that has been shown used,it has also led to the public paying more money for their travel. This has also led to the public preferring transport services offered by Himachal Pradesh,Chandigarh and Haryana causing a loss to the transport departments exchequer. This should be probed by an independent authority, he said.
Shiwalik added that he had,as a member of the committee,written to the transport secretary in November 2012 and asked for additional information but the secretary had not bothered to reply.
The committee strongly recommends a probe by an independent agency into this scam, stated Shiwalik.
Similarly the Committee on Public Undertakings which looked into CAGs observations on the working of the Punjab State Electricity Board has recommended action against at least four officials for causing losses to the Board. In all its eight recommendations,the committee headed by SAD MLA Iqbal Singh Jhunda has noted that the committee is not satisfied with the replies given by the board on various points raised in the CAG report.
Estimates committee on department of rural development and panchayats
Rationalization of those blocks which fall in more than one assembly constituency.
Fixation of joint responsibility of the sarpanch,panchayat secretary and JE for misuse of funds given to the village.
Set up alternative dispute redressal mechanism to decide land grab litigations pending with commissioners and panchayat.
Set up separate rural education wing and bring the service conditions of teachers at par with those working under Education dept.
BDPOs,panchayat secretaries and JE should not be involved in works being carried out in their home villages.
Committee on public undertakings on the working of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation:
Five per cent reservation for poor patients in the hospitals being run under the PPP mode in Bathinda and Mohali
Recruitment of staff for trauma centre in Khanna
Resurvey of BPL families and enrolling them into the medical insurance scheme.