Ludhiana MC chief to submit weekly reports on ‘ghost’ staffers’ probe - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana MC chief to submit weekly reports on ‘ghost’ staffers’ probe

BySukhpreet Singh, Ludhiana
Mar 01, 2024 10:47 PM IST

MC commissioner Sandeep Rishi has been directed to initiate legal action to recover funds from unauthorised recipients, with a deadline of 15 days to report back to the government

The principal secretary has asked the commissioner of the municipal corporation to submit weekly reports to the government from Monday on the issue of the “ghost employees” in the civic body.

The scam, involving unauthorised payments and arrears amounting to crores of rupees to “ghost” employees, was initially uncovered in January when 44 such employees were identified. (HT File Photo)
The scam, involving unauthorised payments and arrears amounting to crores of rupees to “ghost” employees, was initially uncovered in January when 44 such employees were identified. (HT File Photo)

The office of the principal secretary issued the order on February 26. It also instructed physical verification of all employees of the municipal corporation.

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MC commissioner Sandeep Rishi has been directed to initiate legal action to recover funds from unauthorised recipients, with a deadline of 15 days to report back to the government.

A probe committee was formed by the MC to send weekly status reports to the chief vigilance officer about the ongoing inquiry.

The scam, involving unauthorised payments and arrears amounting to crores of rupees to “ghost” employees, was initially uncovered in January when 44 such employees were identified.

A resident had also lodged a complaint with the Punjab vigilance department against these “ghost” employees in the municipal corporation.

As per the order, the MC commissioner was asked to promptly send the required records regarding the bogus employees to the chief vigilance officer. Moreover, it asked the MC authorities to inform the government within 15 days of taking action to recover the amount paid to unauthorised beneficiaries.

A committee, headed by additional commissioner Paramdeep Singh, has been investigating the irregularities prompted by objections raised during a routine audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). The probe has revealed over 30 ghost employees who received unauthorised payments, with investigations ongoing to recover the misappropriated funds.

The MC commissioner has recommended filing of FIRs against the culprits, with a total of 51 individuals, including 44 bogus employees and seven MC employees, identified and held accountable for their actions.

To address the issue, clear directions have been issued to recover misappropriated funds from the bank accounts of the perpetrators.

Additionally, seven employees implicated in the scam were suspended on January 5, 2024. Despite similar issues in 2018, which led to the discovery of around 70 ghost employees in the civic body, a vigilance inquiry was opposed by the Municipal Employees Sangharsh Committee, leaving the matter unresolved.

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