In a big goof up, an amount of Rs 100 crore allocated for mid-day meal (MDM) in Jharkhand was wrongly deposited in the account of a construction company. According to The Indian Express report, it allegedly was due to a lapse on the part of a State Bank of India official. The money remained in the wrong account between August 5 and September 19, as per IE sources. However, the entire money has been returned to the MDM account and the bank has launched an internal inquiry into the matter. According to the officials of the SBI, at least Rs 70 crore has been recovered and efforts are on to get the remaining amount back, as per the report.
SBI deputy general manager (Ranchi zone) D K Panda said, a deputy manager with SBI’s Hatia branch has been suspended for the anomaly. The Hatia branch is one of the treasury branch of SBI. He said,”We also reached the CBI unit in Ranchi and got a formal complaint lodged. After the amount got credited to the construction company’s account, it was rerouted to around seven or eight other accounts of the company,” as per IE.
A senior official of the state Education department has confirmed that the amount has been returned. The official said the mid-day meal was not disrupted due to this. A decision on whether to lodge an FIR would be taken only after consultation with the senior official, the official said.
The Education department official said the amount is released on quarterly basis and the anomaly came to light when the second quarter money was to be released. “When the bank concerned was asked to release the amount, they said there was no money. The matter was checked, which revealed that the money had been released from the authority concerned. The bank conceded that it was credited to a wrong person, ” the official told IE.