Tuesday, May 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CM’s cheques put on hold
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 7
Signed government cheques don’t mean anything if the administration does not want you to withdraw the money. This is being discovered by residents of Samana who were bestowed largesse of a few crores by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a sangat darshan programme held there on April 30.

The district administration has asked the authorities of the Punjab National Bank at Samana not to honour the cheques of various persons, including the municipal committee, various panchayats and social welfare organisations till they submitted details of the projects being undertaken by them.

The directions to the bank authorities have been given by the Samana Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Due to this the bank has not encashed any cheque till now despite money having been received by it. Sources said the directions had been given at an informal level. Bank Senior Manager Gurdev Singh disclosed that the bank had not encashed any cheque due to the directions.

Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir when questioned on the issue said the directions had been given in public interest. He said there were some proposals which needed to be revised while giving the example of installation of sodium lights put up by the municipal committee. He said upon deliberations it was felt that much more number of fluorescent tubes could be installed in the town at the same cost which would be more beneficial to the residents. He said moreover as there was an internal division in the committee it was felt the administration should make the purchases.

The Deputy Commissioner said even in cases of funds earmarked for the village panchayats it had been directed that the money should not be released to them as the supervisory committees of the panchayats had not been constituted. He said now the committees were being constituted and money would be spent under the guidance of the panchayats.

However, for various people the delay in releasing the cheques is irritating. “They should have properly scrutinised everyone to whom they were doling out money. Resorting to this exercise after a cheque had already been cut in the name of an organisation was of no meaning’’, said Narinder Singh, a Samana resident. He said moreover directions that the complete project for which money was being given be submitted in detail to the bank was preposterous. “It is not the bank’s duty to ask for any detailed list of purchases or proposal and any such direction is illegal’’, another resident quipped.

People have also condemned the decision to put a blanket ban on encashment of cheques saying money required for genuine work regarding which there was no controversy should be released at the earliest. Amarjit said welfare organisations who had been distributed cheques during the sangat darshan held at Nabha a few days earlier had been able to encash them and that they should not face any difficulty in this regard.Back

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