RTI reply - Minister disburses Rs. 37 lakhs for ‘treatment’ to 500 persons
Documents procured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the then Minister of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sucha Singh Langah had given Rs 37 lakhs from his discretionary grant to nearly 500 persons. It has been shown that Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000 per person was disbursed under the head 'Bimari de Ilaaj layi' (for medical treatment). The district administration is yet to receive the utilisation certificate for the disbursement.
No ailment was mentioned by name and there appears little evidence to show that the person was actually sick. Further, the money was neither routed through the local red-cross society nor was given to the hospital concerned. It has been alleged that close associates and workers of his party were given this money in the months just before imposition of the Model code of conduct in December.
A quick audit of all utilisation of the Rs 2 crore discretionary funds given to the ministers could perhaps bring such allegations to logical solution. If the funds are routed through appropriate channels, it would add to transparency in the disbursement of funds.