TODAY -
IAY loan found given to dead man
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, February 13, 2010: Surprises never end in Manipur where nothing is surprising any longer.

It has been found that loan under the Indira Awaj Yozna (IAY) was given to a man who, in fact, had died almost 10 years ago.

This mystery was unraveled at Hiyangthang Gram Panchayat when a woman sought information using the Right to Information (RTI) Act on the IAY scheme being taken up within the jurisdiction of the Panchayat.

N Gunileima, Machaleima RTI Coordinator revealed in a press release that one of the beneficiaries, selected for granting IAY loan to poor people for construction of house for the year 2007-08, under serial number 5 by the name Huirem Bino Singh was indeed a deceased man.

He was the father of the Prardhan of Hiyangthang Gram Panchayat Mrs Huirem Angoubi.

It was also found that a man who is at present an Up Pradhan had been selected as a beneficiary of IAY loan.

Besides, a number of wealthy persons had also been selected and loan money had been taken away,Ms Gunileima said.

Sarangthem Joy, husband of S Ongbi Bina, who applied for RTI enquire into the discrepancies in the beneficiaries' list, was implicated in an unfortunate incident that happened in the family of the Pradhan, and was interrogated by police.

Different persons had allegedly threatened those women of Hiyangthang areas, who had applied for RTI, and spread defamatory rumours against them, stated Gunileima.

Sarangthem Bina had filed an application under RTI Act with the DC Imphal West, who was the Public Information Officer, on June 13 last year requesting him to furnish information on the IAY scheme being taken up in Hiyangthang Gram Panchayat.

However, since the DC did not furnish any information, an appeal was lodged with the Commissioner of Rural Development, who was the Apellate Authority.

Even then, no information was given out.

Then a second appeal was filed with the Manipur Information Commissioner on September 17 last year.

Following Manipur Information Commissioner's strong directive, information was furnished.

It was then that the misdeeds were found in the matters of IAY.

Further enquiry revealed that instead of giving a beneficiary Rs 25,000 or Rs 35,000 (after 2008) for construction of a new house, Rs 9,000 along with four bundles of low quality tin roof-sheet at the maximum and Rs 3,000 along with two bundles of tin roof-sheet at the minimum were given away.

For repairing house, a person should be given Rs 2,000 or Rs 15,000.However, since no details of IAY loans were given to the people, the benefits that the poor people should avail of were not given.

The rich and the influential people were sharing the benefits.

When the beneficiaries themselves had to construct their houses according their desire, the Pradhan and the Members in collusion with the officials had not given the full amount of the loans on the pretext that the underground elements were taking their percentage, Gunileima pointed out.

The Chief Information Commissioner, RK Angousana had on December 30 last year directed the BDO to give a compensation of Rs 9,000 to the complainant for furnishing information late and making her suffer within February 16, 2010.

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