Indore: In a major financial bungling, custodians of Government Holkar Science College allegedly inflicted heavy loss on government by putting an amount of Rs 35 crore in fixed deposit on merely an interest of 4.75 per cent. For past many years, this amount has been lying in bank on low income rate causing a yearly loss of Rs 70 lakh to the exchequer.
Newly appointed chairman of public participation committee of the college, Surendra Singh Chhabra unearthed this financial bungling and he is now gathering papers to get the guilty officials punished. “I have filed an application using Right to Information Act seeking information regarding all bank accounts of the colleges, and interest rates on which the amount have been put in FDs,” Chhabra said. He said that on the basis of information received under RTI Act, he would file a report and submit the same to the government for suitable action. Chhabra was appointed as chairman of public participation committee about two months ago. But he took the charge on October 4. After assuming the charge, the first thing Chhabra did is to take information on funds available with the college.
“As the main purpose of public participation committee is to bring in funds to the college through public participation, I thought of first taking information on funds available with the institute. During scrutiny of FDRs, I found that nearly Rs 35 crore has been lying in FD for on an interest rate of merely 4.25,” Chhabra said. He said that he was informed that the amount is lying in the FD for past two decades on the interest rate which is almost half to what it was at that time. Chhabra sought explanation on this from the college officers but they alleged mislead him so he filed an RTI to blag exact details of bank accounts.
Babu main culprit
Administrative office of college, RC Dixit said that college babu, who deals with bank affairs, is responsible for the blunder. “FDRs are renewed on annual basis. So if there was any lapse, the babu responsible for bank affairs should have alerted the higher-ups. In this case, the babu concerned did not do his duty properly,” he added. Dixit stated the college officers look after many things so they have not noticed that the interest rate on FDs is less.
Dixit said that the FD in question was made in 2000. “The bank officials told us that if the amount put in FD is higher, then the interest rate will be less. It is because of this reason, the interest on Rs 35 crore FD is less,” he added. Former Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya registrar RD Musalgaonkar, who dealt with many banks on FDRs of the university, was surprised to listen to this excuse of Dixit. “Generally, a government institution invites quotation from banks on interest rates they provides on FDs. The bank which offers high interest rate is selected. In the university, we used to follow this model. “In case, there is recommendation from the government for any particular bank, we would negotiate with that bank and ensure that he too would offer the same interest rate which others banks do,” Musalgaonkar said. The former registrar also stated that the university would also ensure that the bank spends amount meant for cooperative social responsibility on the varsity campuses.
An alleged bid was made to cover-up this financial bungling. According to sources, the college officials had got Chhabra removed from public participation committee chairman post after he dug into the financial issues. The Department of Higher Education withdrew him from Holkar College and moved him to Government Rau College. However, when the matter was brought to its knowledge, the DHE reappointed Chhabra at Holkar College. Indore-3 MLA Usha Thakur had stood by Chhabra on this issue.
I have been told that when the FD was done, the interest rate was ranging between 8.50 and 9 per cent. When I contacted the concerned bank, officials told me that they were ready to offer interest rate of 6.5 per cent to the college. But as of now, my priority is to identify officials, who inflicted loss on government
– Surendra Singh Chhabra
Chairman, PP panel, Holkar College