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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Union minister of state for Rural Development, Ram Kripal Yadav, on Saturday said there has been gross misutilisation of Central funds in Odisha.

“The Centre has been pumping in enough financial assistance to the Odisha government for development in rural areas. But, sadly, there is no proper utilisation of the funds in the implementation of the developmental programmes as the bureaucrats and the ruling party leaders are busy in misappropriating a major chunk of the assistance,” Yadav told media persons here.

Taking a gibe at chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the Union minister said the former despite being aware of the modus operandi, has remained silent which shows that he is protecting his party men and the bureaucrats and allowing them to indulge in corruption.

“Corruption in Odisha has reached the climax. The information I have received is that the ruling party leaders and bureaucrats are claiming 20-25% of the financial allocations from the contractors in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Besides, the beneficiaries are being asked to pay Rs 10,000 for each house in the Awas Yojana. Similar claims are also being made to the beneficiaries in the construction of toilets in rural areas,” Yadav pointed out.

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The Union minister also took a swipe at the state government on distribution of PDS items. “The Centre has made specific arrangements provide rice and wheat to the rural people at an affordable price. But the state government has been taking credit by telling the people that the distribution of subsidised rice and wheat among the rural poor is its own programme. We will expose the modus operandi of the Odisha government as our party workers would visit each village in the state and apprise the people of the dirty game the state government has been playing,” he informed.

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