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opposition walks out: speak on JNNURM (3/23/2020) 
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb today said that strict actions would be taken in the misappropriation of funds and irregularities came into notice in the procurement of 70 buses under JNNURM scheme. “The vigilance commission has already submitted its report where all the irregularities have become clear. Stern actions will be taken against the people involved in misappropriation of government funds”, the Chief Minister asserted while responding to a reference period notice raised by MLA Asish Saha. However, soon after the discussion started, the opposition bench walked out of the assembly citing that their request for discussion on the budget had been rejected. On the other hand, the treasury bench countered, the opposition legislatures left the floor as the scam took place during the Left regime. Deputy Leader of the opposition Badal Chowdhury urged the house to continue the discussion on the state’s preparedness pertaining to the novel coronavirus outbreak and the budget proposals placed by the Finance Minister. After not being entertained by the speaker, the opposition bench walked out of the house and did not join the house for further proceedings. Responding to reference period notice motioned by MLA Asish Saha over the irregularities on JNNURM purchase during the Left regime, Transport Minister Pranajit Singha Roy informed the house that a vigilance inquiry was commissioned to ascertain the irregularities in purchase of vehicles under JNNURM project. “The vigilance has already submitted its report and the government will act accordingly,” Said Minister Pranajit Singha Roy. MLA Saha in a point of clarification asked the Transport Minister whether the embezzled amount could be recovered and was there any involvement of the previous minister of the department. In his notice, Saha also sought to know whether the government initiated any investigative effort or not. The Minister, in his statement, said that the government was dealing strictly with all the irregularities. “After the departmental audit, it had become crystal clear that agreements were violated and misappropriation funds took place while procuring buses under the urbanization scheme. The vigilance had been commissioned to make a conclusive report on the matter and further proceedings would be done as per the rules”, the Minister clarified.MLA Sudip Roy Barman and Sushanta Chowdhury also joined the discussion and opined that the people who were involved in this scam should be penalized under criminal charges. As per the written statement of the transport minister, altogether 173 buses were procured in two lots. The process started in the year 2009. In the first stage 75 buses were purchased with a total worth of Rs 11 crore 11 lakh 27 thousand where Rs 1 crore 69 lakh remained unspent. In the second and final stage, 73 buses were purchased by Rs 8 crore 73 lakh 82 thousand. However, some CNG buses were also procured in this time and there were irregularities regarding the tender quotes and other related aspects that had come in light after the audit.
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