Sambal Scheme 'Scam': MP Govt Mulls Recovery of Undue Favours from Illegal Beneficiaries
Congress leaders say the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government had extended the Sambal yojana benefits to over 56 lakh people associated with the BJP and party workers in-charge of voter lists were beneficiaries.
File photos of BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath.
Bhopal: The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state has renewed its corruption campaign against former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his much-publicised Sambal scheme that was introduced by him months ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.
The scheme aimmed at mapping labourers from unorganised sectors and extend benefits, like subsidised electricity bill up to Rs 200 per month and other social security measures.
Of late, the Congress leadership has repeatedly said the scheme was a fraudulent one, even as the former chief minister has hit back saying the present dispensation doesn’t want any welfare to reach the poor. He has also accused the government of doing away with the scheme without have introduced anything worthwhile to replace the same.
Soon after the grand old party came to power in the state, the Labour department, led by minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia, got the scheme probed and claimed 71 lakh of the total 2.18 crore beneficiaries listed in the programme were ineligible.
Though the scheme had a clear guideline of not extending the scheme to those who pay income tax, over 35,000 such individuals were found to be listed as beneficiaries, he said.
Recently, Sisodia told reporters the previous Chouhan government had extended the Sambal yojana benefits to over 56 lakh people associated with the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and party workers in-charge of voter lists were included as beneficiaries.
“Our probe has found Rs 6,816 crore was distributed to ineligible families in the BJP government as power subsidies. The matter would be tabled soon in a cabinet meeting and undue benefits would be recovered,” the minister said.
Soon after the probe report was shared with the energy department, its minister Priyavrat Singh said the previous government, after handing over hefty electricity bills to consumers during the first 12 years of its rule, decided to introduce subsidised bills in 2018. He said Chouhan ensured that those close to the BJP were included in the scheme despite being ineligible.
Singh further claimed that while the BJP government was offering subsidised power to 65,000 families under Sambal scheme, the Indira Grih Jyoti Yojana introduced by the Congress government is befitting 97,000 families.
Public Relations minister PC Sharma said ineligible beneficiaries would soon be thrown out from the scheme and the amount received by them would be recovered. If required, FIRs would also be lodged against those indulging in fraud, he added.
Chouhan has said the benefits were extended on three criteria — one should not be working in any government department, shouldn’t be a taxpayer and not be in possession of more than five-acre land.
The Congress government doesn’t wish to extend the scheme's benefits to genuine beneficiaries and hence, is unnecessarily raking up the issue of corruption, the senior BJP leader added. At the time of the scheme’s launch, months ahead of assembly polls in November, collectors were reportedly asked to add maximum number of persons for the scheme.
The administration is said to have mainly depended on Samagra data (integrated database of citizens) to include beneficiaries and that may have resulted in a large number of ineligible persons being extended the benefits.
Besides offering subsidised power to the beneficiaries, the scheme aimed at providing other benefits, including financial assistance for last rites of family members, pregnancy assistance, education assistance, vocational training and assistance for trade upgrade.
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