Days after BJP MP Maneka Gandhi wrote to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat alleging financial irregularities in the Uttarakhand Sheep and Wool Development Board, the state government on Wednesday formed a committee to investigate the allegations.
Rawat directed the Uttarakhand Sheep and Wool Development Board to initiate a high-level inquiry under the complaint related to financial irregularities in the purchase of fodder for sheep and goats in Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts.
“As per the instructions of the Chief Minister, an inquiry committee has been constituted by chief secretary Om Prakash under the chairmanship of Commissioner of agricultural production and additional secretary of finance,” the government said in a statement Wednesday evening.
The chief secretary has instructed officials to submit the inquiry report within 15 days.
Earlier this week, Maneka Gandhi wrote to chief minister Rawat demanding an investigation by “CB CID, CBI and ED”, alleging a financial scam amounting to around ₹3000 crore in the Board.
In her letter, she alleged that Avinash Anand, chief executive officer of Uttarakhand Sheep and Wool Development Board “has misappropriated crores of rupees from the loan obtained by the Government of Uttarakhand from the World Bank.”
The letter stated, “He has bought luxury cars of more than ₹13 lakhs per car. He has bought residences in Noida with disproportionate assets. He has used district budget plans to purchase fodder from Punjab at twice the cost without having any authority to do so and beyond the prescribed rates of the Government of Uttarakhand. He has taken a large number of officers on deputation in the Sheep Board without creating any posts thereby causing veterinary hospitals in districts to shut down. These officers have no work but get salaries. This has clearly been done after monetary gratification…”
She urged that the programme be stopped immediately and the appropriate action is taken. “This is equivalent to the scandals of coal, Bofors etc.”
Reacting to the allegations, Anand had said, “I am preparing a reply which will be submitted to the secretary of the department and other senior authorities of the state government. Whatever money has been spent has been done following all protocols.”0