7 Bills passed on day 3 of Punjab Vidhan Sabha session; Akali MLAs protest over post-matric scholarship scam

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21

As many as seven Bills were passed on the day three of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha session, which began amid protest by the Akali Dal MLAs in the Well of the House.

The MLAs protested over the post-matric scholarship scam and soon staged a walkout.

Later, members of the Lok Insaaf Party also joined them in the protest outside the House.

The House adjourned sine die.

The Bills passed were The Punjab Bhondedar, Butemar, Dohlidar, Insar, Miami, Mukkararidar, Mundhimar, Panahi, Qadeem, Saunjidar or Taraddadkar ( Vesting of Proprietary Rights Bill, The Punjab Vigilance Commission Bill, The Registration (Punjab Amendment) Bill, The Punjab Tissue Culture Based Seed Potato Bill, The Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, The Punjab (Welfare and Settlement of Landless, Marginal and Small Occupant Farmers) Allotment of State Government Land Bill, and The Factories (Punjab Amendment) Bill.

The disbursal of Rs 248.11 crore out of the Rs 303 crore, which was released in three parts by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in February 2019 and March 2019, had come under scanner.

The Centre had released the payment on the basis of the reimbursement claims received from the Social Welfare Department for fiscal years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 when the SAD-BJP was in power.

In the departmental probe report submitted to the Chief Secretary on August 24, the disbursal of Rs 248.11 crore is under the scanner. Of this, the department disbursed Rs 39 crore to “ghost” institutions as the records of the distribution of the amount are missing. Another Rs 16.71 crore was wrongly disbursed to private educational institutions despite the Finance Department during its audit pointing out recovery of Rs 8 crore from the institutions which had been illegally given the scholarship amount.

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