New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) Taking a serious note of media reports regarding diversion of funds collected for the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) by Coal India Limited, the Coal Ministry today said it had directed the CIL Chairman to conduct a detailed inquiry into the matter.
The ministry also asked him to fix individual responsibility for lapses and initiate appropriate action against the guilty.
''...although no case of misuse of funds is made out, the irregularities that have occurred merit action,'' a ministry official said.
The ministry also directed the CIL and its subsidiaries to ensure that in future the monies collected for the PMNRF are deposited with the Fund without any delay.
''In view of the apprehensions expressed in the media by the person who had filed complaint regarding alleged misuse of funds, the ministry has directed the CIL Chairman to ensure that there is no harassment to the employee and necessary measures are taken to ensure his security,'' he said.
The official said the report of the preliminary inquiry indicated that out of Rs 48.06 crore collected since 1999 from the employees' wages by CIL and its subsidiary companies, CIL had deposited only Rs. 37.08 crore in the PMNRF until a complaint was received in this regard. Rs 7.34 crores were deposited subsequently.
''Clearly, there has been inordinate delay in depositing the balance fund. It has also come to light that an amount of Rs 4.71 crore was deposited in several Chief Ministers' Relief Funds, besides payment for direct purchase of relief material for Orissa flood victims,'' he said.
A total of Rs 49.13 crore has been remitted to PMNRF, which is actually more than the amount collected from the employees. The balance was paid from the internal resources of the company.
''Thus, it has been noted that funds collected towards PMNRF have not been siphoned off in any manner. The utilisation has been done jointly by the workers' representatives and the management for the purposes directly related to disaster relief,'' he pointed out.