Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 30 (ANI): West Bengal Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to probe the alleged irregularities and illegal diversion of central government funds from the Wage and Means head of the consolidated funds and PFMS (Public Finance Management System) to the SERF (State Emergency Relief Fund) account by the West Bengal government.

"I am writing this letter to you in order to apprise you about the malpractices the West Bengal Government has been engaged in, and the unethical and illegal diversion of funds provided by the Central Government," said Adhikari in the letter.

"PFMS was introduced only a few months earlier. Before PFMS was in operation, all Central Government funds were remitted to the Wage and Means head of the consolidated fund. The transactions of that particular head have to be thoroughly enquired into. The enquiry must be conducted through officers, who are not likely to be influenced by state government officials," the BJP leader demanded.

In the letter, the BJP MLA from Nandigram wrote, "The state government has been engaging in the following illegal steps: 1. Firstly withdrawing a major portion of the amount and depositing it in the SERF Account and spend the money along with the accrued interest in other works, which was not meant to be. 2. When suballocating to the departments, they are making too much delay, sometimes even 6 months after the amount was originally remitted by the central government. As a result, the whole scheme's accounting gets jeopardised and utilisation certificate cannot be generated on time."He added, "If transactions of these accounts are thoroughly scrutinised, evidence of illegalities would be found. Remarkably, it seems that no officer of the finance department seems to be aware of this modus operandi."Earlier also, Adhikari has accused the state government of renaming the Centre's schemes and passing them off as the state government's. On a number of occasions, he has accused the state government of misusing central funds.

Adhikari had defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in last year's Assembly polls by a margin of 1,956 votes. (ANI)

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