NEWS FROM SIKKIM: BJP asks for central probe into bank fraud

NEWS FROM SIKKIM: BJP asks for central probe into bank fraud – the culture of corruption checked ?!!

Bank of Sikkim - also mired ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, Aug. 20: The BJP has asked the Centre to probe the disappearance of 150 temporary deposit receipts from the State Bank of Sikkim and the subsequent expose of a contractor-bank manager nexus to use them to cheat the state exchequer.

Three booklets of TDRs of the SBS containing 50 receipts each had gone missing about one and a half years ago. The bank authorities after detecting it in April had asked all account officers across the state to be on the alert. On July 31, Sikkim vigilance police arrested an assistant manager of the SBS branch here along with two contractors for submitting six receipts from the missing books in support of their bids for work in West Sikkim worth Rs 44,65,171.

According to government rules, a TDR is issued to a contractor after he deposits 2.5 per cent of the total work order as security while making a bid. The SBS is the only bank in Sikkim that can issue TDRs. In this case, no money had been deposited in the bank but TDRs had been issued.

BJP’s West district president Padam Prasad Sharma said in a memorandum to Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday that: “The TDR scam is a serious financial offence, financial impropriety and misappropriation of the public money by the government treasury bank. Since the SBS is not under the purview of the Reserve Bank of India, there will be of no use for the people of Sikkim to seek shelter under the umbrella of the RBI. The scam is fit for investigation by anti-corruption bureau and the bureau of investigation of economic offences of the Government of India.”

An executive member of the state committee of the BJP, Sharma questioned why the fraudulent use of the missing TDRs was not detected during the annual audit of the SBS. “All the accounts and the transactions of the bank is approved by its Board of Directors every year. How come the transactions involving the fake TDRs could not be detected earlier,” Sharma said.

Sharma said he submitted an RTI application to the SBS general manager seeking to know how the TDR books went missing and what actions had been initiated.

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