GUWAHATI, Aug 25 – Opposition members today lambasted the Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora over alleged large-scale anomalies in the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
AGP legislator Phani Bhushan Choudhury said that umbrellas which ought to cost Rs 100-150 per piece were shown to have been purchased at Rs 500, and similarly, dolls, softballs, toys, etc, were purchased at grossly inflated prices.
“This is a very serious issue and reflects appalling levels of corruption in the Social Welfare Department. The minister should intervene and institute an inquiry into the mess,” Choudhury said during a cut motion.
Choudhury also called for a House Committee probe into the anomalies.
Minister Bora, in his reply, said that it would explore options to involve all MLAs in policy implementation in the social welfare schemes including Anganwadi welfare committees.
Bora said steps would also be initiated to ensure that there was no mis-utilization of funds in social welfare projects.
He was speaking after a detailed discussion on the issue where opposition MLAs cited CAG report to point out anomalies in implementation of schemes.
Dilip Moran (BJP), Pramila Rani Brahma (BPF) and others spoke on the matter.
In response, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamani Sen Deka asked members not to make any allegations till the Public Accounts Committee completed its study of the CAG report.
He said that once the PAC studies the report a House Committee can be formed if the members so desire.
Phani Bhushan Choudhury said a contractor removed by former Social Welfare Minister Ajanta Neog was again engaged by Bora.
Rana Goswami (Congress) said there have been allegations of corruption in some schemes in his constituency.
Bora asked him to make a written submission and assured action.
The minister also called upon MLAs to regularly attend quarterly committee meetings of various schemes of his department.