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Lokayukta orders FIR, investigation into job facilitation to facilitate coffins | Goa News



Panaji: A day before his retirement as Goa Lokayukta, Justice (back) KP Misra headed the anti-corruption office (ACB) to investigate the Covid Relief Scheme for Construction and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) and set up a FIR against those who raised funds for workers.
In an order that would embarrass the state government, Misra also said that if the role of politicians and senior officials were to be found, the investigation should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Labor and Employment Minister Jennifer Monserrate said she would read the Lokayuktas order to understand its consequences. I have not read it yet. I will pass it first, she said.
An FIR will be filed by the ACB against unknown individuals for plotting to extract money from the Goa BOCW welfare fund …, with the aim of distributing largesse by filling the fund beneficiary register with non-BOCW beneficiaries, Misra said in sequence.
Misra has also recommended that the CAG look into the functioning of the employment welfare fund, particularly payments made to beneficiaries under the Covid-19 schemes.
The case follows a complaint filed by the Goa Forward Party (GFP), which alleged that the state government had misused the scheme to channel funds to BJP officials, including some village sarpanchas and panchas.
While Misra also called for an investigation into the role of labor inspectors and the private firm tasked with registering BOCW, he also alluded to the role of politicians.
Cases can be filed against fake applicants who have fraudulently represented themselves as BOCW. If the above-mentioned investigations indicate the possible involvement of (senior) officials and politicians, subsequent investigations could be entrusted to the CBI, he said.
Reacting to the order, said Prime Minister Pramod Sawant. I will go through the dossier, study it and make a decision.
The order says investigative agencies should conduct random sample checks on all scheme beneficiaries to determine how many of them are original, their true profession, and what motivates them to register as workers.
Labor inspectors can be asked on a similar basis in incomplete forms, as well as why they had verified them, if they were obliged to do so and their involvement in controlling training programs …, the order said.
Misra has also recommended that to get a full picture, the ACB should talk to current and former Department of Labor and Employment bureaucrats to see if they had any doubts about the beneficiaries, and why the 3,500 people who registered between 2012 and 2019 were left out.
BJP spokesman and former Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienkar said the Lokayuktas order is a warning to BJP to fix its roads. The gates of deception turned out to be the nemesis of Congress in Goa and India, he said. Hope BJP and CM Sawant take the necessary steps to discipline neo-entrants to repeat history, which could lead us to a demolition in 2022.
Meanwhile, the GFP said the order has justified its stance that the BJP government is corrupt. GFP Vice President Durgadas Kamat demanded that the ACB act immediately on Lokayukta’s order.
If Bihar fodder fraud involved non-existent livestock, work in Goa is about non-existent workers, said GFP president Vijai Sardesai. If a government can bow to such low levels to deceive and steal from the poorest of the poor, every action, every step, every decision of this government is questionable.

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