Sunday, 27 August 2006

Scam in AP Wakf Board

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 27: The Congress government has issued orders for recovery of honorarium from State Wakf Board former chairman Syed Yousuf Ali, who is presently a general secretary of the Telugu Desam.
This is perhaps the first time that the State government has issued orders for "recovery" of money from a senior politician. Syed Yousuf Ali had drawn Rs 1.46 lakh towards various heads from the State Wakf Board when he was its chairman.
According to Go Rt No.249 dated August 24, 2006, Syed Yousuf Ali had drawn an amount of Rs 16,350 during 1996-97 towards daily allowance while attending office. This is irregular as received a monthly honorarium. Besides payment of honorarium to the chairman, the Board has no provision for making payment of daily allowance while attending office. The GO directed that the amount claimed by Yousuf Ali be "recovered immediately".
The government order noted that Yousuf Ali had claimed Rs 300 per day as daily allowance while on tour, though he was eligible for just Rs 120 per day. The difference of Rs 14,400 will be recovered from the former chairman.
He also incurred Rs 1.46 lakh towards taxi hire charges along with diesel expenses. The government wanted the amount claimed to be recovered as vehicles were available in the Board, apart from a new vehicle purchased for the chairman.
Principal secretary (minorities welfare) M Chaya Ratan directed that State Wakf Board chief executive officer recover the amount from Yousuf Ali and "send a compliance report to the government".
Interestingly, the proceedings against Yousuf Ali were launched during the previous Telugu Desam regime. The issue has been pending for the last five years and the present Congress government accepted the audit report now.
Yousuf Ali, who held dual posts of Wakf Board chairman and government whip, drew perks from both the Wakf Board and the State Assembly. Government norms stipulate that a person should draw perks only from one department irrespective of the number of posts being held by him.
The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee demanded that penal action be taken against the Telugu Desam general secretary for "violation" of norms. It wondered how the TD leadership had made such an "undeserving person" as a party general secretary.

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