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Guwahati firm siphoned off funds sanctioned for poor pregnant, lactating women; ED attaches bank account

According to ED, Assam government officials along with a local firm allegedly siphoned off the funds maintained for the purposes of direct cash transfer poor pregnant women and lactating mothers, under Indira Gandhi Matritya Sahyog Yojana – Conditional Maternity Benefit Scheme.

The ED claims that during their investigation they found that funds meant for direct cash transfer under IGMSY-CMB scheme were illegally diverted for purchasing sewing machines. (File photo)

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth over Rs 2 crore of a Guwahati-based organisation for allegedly siphoning off money given by Government of India for poor pregnant women and lactating mothers under the Indira Gandhi Matritya Sahyog Yojana, officials said.

The attached asset, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, is in form of bank balance to the tune of Rs 2.02 core held in the name of Globel India, a proprietorship firm of Pawan Kumar Agrawala, the ED said.

The ED initiated its investigation on the basis of a chargesheet filed by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Assam against the officials of Social Welfare Department (SWD) and Pawan Kumar Agrawala for alleged criminal conspiracy and cheating.

According to the chargesheet, officials of SWD along with Pawan Kumar Agrawala allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy to siphon off the funds lying in the account maintained for the purposes of direct cash transfer to the beneficiaries i.e. poor pregnant women and lactating mothers, under Indira Gandhi Matritya Sahyog Yojana – Conditional Maternity Benefit Scheme (IGMSY-CMB), a flagship programme of Government of India.

“Initially two district of Assam – Kamrup and Goalpara – were chosen for target implementation and under this scheme. An amount of Rs 4000 was being paid directly to the beneficiaries in three instalments,” said the agency.

The probe agency claims that during their investigation they found that funds meant for direct cash transfer under IGMSY-CMB scheme were illegally diverted for purchasing sewing machines. The tender for purchase of sewing machines was illegally awarded to Globel India at exorbitant rates.

“Further, payments totalling to Rs 3.84 crore were made by the District Social Welfare Offices, Goalpara and Kamrup to Globel India for supplying 4,274 numbers of Sewing Machine at the rate of Rs 8,999 per Machine. The investigation also revealed that these Sewing Machines were purchased at an average price of Rs. 4256 per Sewing Machine by Globel India and supplied to the Kamrup and Goalpara District Social Welfare Directorate,” added the ED.

Later, according to the probe agency, accused Pawan Kumar Agrawala generated Rs 2.02 core illegally which was deposited in State Bank of India, Guwahati.

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