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Rs. 9 crore CGI scam unearthed in Meghalaya
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAY 4:
Published on 5 May. 2010 12:09 AM IST
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The Meghalaya government and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has been implicated in a Rs nine crore scam relating to the supply of substandard Corrugated Galvanised Iron (CGI) stretching over a period of four yeas, from 2003 to 2006.
The scam was unearthed through an RTI findings filed by the Meghalaya Right To Information Movement (MRTIM). Poverty in Meghalaya not due to lack of resources but because resources are stolen from the poor by unholy nexus of contractors, politicians and bureaucrats. Our public hearing shows how this daylight robbery is done, MRTIM activist Micheal Syiem said
The pilferage percentage under the scheme meant for provide roof sheets to the beneficiaries is a massive 52.12 percent of the total Rs.19,34,81,221 spent in the purchase of CGI sheets.
Syiem informed that it would officially lodge a complain with the State Vigilance Commissioner against the above alleged misappropriation and to the Central Vigilance Commissioner as the SAIL, a central government public enterprise, is also involved in the alleged embezzlement.
Various anomalies were detected in the purchase of CGI sheets from 2003 to 2006. The Public Information Officer (PIO) of the state housing department informed that in 2003-04, 1392.90 MT of CGI sheets were purchased, 1510.516 MT in 2004-05 and 1470.03 MT in 2005-06 while the amount sanctioned was Rs. 5,26,30,000, Rs. 6,51,97,063 and Rs. 7,58,02,937, respectively.
However, according to the invoice procured from Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the actual quantity of CGI sheets lifted by the dealer, Ms. O.B. Tariang, from SAIL stockyard, Guwahati in 2003-04 was 152.40 MT, 1181.94 MT in 2004-05 and 1265.45 MT in 2005-06. Thus, the shortfall in supply of CGI sheets for the three years was 1240.5 MT, 328.576 MT and 204.58 MT.
From the total amount sanctioned in 2003-04, the housing department paid Rs. 5, 25, 99,878, Rs.6, 51, 41,605 in 2004-05 and Rs.7, 57, 39,738 in 2005-06 for the purchase of the CGI sheets. The local dealer also quoted Rs. 35,324.64 per MT of CGI sheets in 2003-04, Rs.40, 410.24 in 2004-05 and Rs. 48,556.56 in 2005-06. However, the price per MT fixed by SAIL excluding tax, freight etc was Rs. 28,350 in 2003-04, Rs.30,000 in 2004-05 and Rs. 30,166 in 2005-06.
The misappropriation due to shortfall in the supply of the sheets was Rs.4,6844,815.40 in 2003-04, Rs. 1,41,69,971.40 in 2004-05 and Rs. 1,05,40,489.40 in 2005-06 taking the total to Rs. 7,15,55,276.20, the RTI revealed.
Further, the local dealer of SAIL was alleged to have supplied substandard CGI sheets contrary to the claims made by the housing department. From 2003 to 2006, the local dealer provided Class VIII quality CGI sheets while the housing department categorically stated that Class VIII quality sheets were supplied in 2003-04, Class III in 2004-05 and Class I in 2005-06.
While in 2003-04 the housing department paid Rs.37,762.85 per MT for Class VIII sheets, the department paid Rs.43.125.40 per MT for Class III sheets in 2004-05 though the dealer was alleged to have provided Class VIII sheets the price of which, at that point in time, was Rs.39,960 per MT.
In 2005-06, the department paid Rs.51,522.58 per MT for Class I CGI sheets even though the dealer supposedly provided Class VIII sheets the price of which was Rs.40,181.11 per MT. The difference in payments made by the department in 2004-05 was Rs.3165 per MT and Rs.11,341.47 per MT.
The MRTIM contended that the misappropriation by supplying substandard CGI sheets in 2004-05 was Rs.44, 08,528.50 and Rs. 1, 66, 72,301.10 in 2005-06 taking the total to s.2, 10, 80,829.60, and 80,829.60.
Hence, the total embezzlement in the purchase of substandard CGI sheets from 2003 to 2006 amounted to Rs.9,26,36,105.80, the MRTIM alleged. The MRTIM also said, from 2003-06, a total amount of Rs.19,34,81,221 was spent in the purchase of CGI sheets, and added that 52.12 per cent of the scheme was stolen assuming that freight cost paid to the supplier was correct.
However, OB Tariang, the local SAIL dealer said that she had supplied the CGI sheets in accordance with the work order issued to her by the state government.
In 2006, the then Housing minister Irene Lyngdoh had clarified the matter in the Housing scheme with regard to the purchase of CGI sheets, Tariang said.
She added: I do not understand why the issue has been raked up now when the government had given a clarification on the floor of the House since 2006. The clarification is there in the Assembly records for people to see, Tariang said.

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