Panchayat secretary suspended for misuse of funds

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Crime

Rs 1.58 crore diverted from gram panchayat account without prior permission

Gannavaram panchayat grade-1 secretary N. Rajendra Vara Prasad was suspended from services for diverting Rs 1.58 crore. (Representational picture / DC)

Vijayawada: Panchayat Raj and Rural Development (PR & RD) commissioner Kona Sasidhar on Monday suspended Gannavaram panchayat grade-1 secretary N. Rajendra Vara Prasad from his services on the basis of a primary report about the misuse of panchayat funds.

It was found that an amount of about Rs 1.58 crore was diverted from the gram panchayat account without prior permission from the panchayat body and higher officials. The PR and RD commissioner made it clear that the panchayat secretary should not leave headquarters without permission from the government.

According to sources, the Gannavaram gram panchayat funds of about Rs 1,58,12,672 were misappropriated in the financial year 2021–22. Of which, Rs 1,53,85,010 were gram panchayat general funds, Rs 95,155 were 14th finance commission funds, and Rs 3,32,507 were 15th finance commission funds.

Based on the complaint given by former soldier M. Ravi Kumar, and some of the panchayat ward members, the Gudiwada DLPO conducted an inquiry into this on October 27. Later, the DLPO submitted his report to the government through the Krishna DPO.

During the inquiry, it was found that the misappropriated amount of Rs 1,58,12,672 was shared by Gannavaram sarpanch Nidamarthi Sowjanya, and panchayat secretary Rajendra Kumar.

Later, the state government issued a show-cause notice to panchayat sarpanch Sowjanya and asked her why not to stop the cheque power. However, the department has received no clarification or report from her, and on November 9, DPO Nageswar Naik temporarily suspended the sarpanch’s cheque power.

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