There is further trouble ahead for Mamata Banerjee with the CAG now seeking details of the Rs 250 crore that was distributed to the people by her government under the Saradha shield scheme.
Following the exposure of the Saradha scam, the Mamata Banerjee government decided to compensate some of the very poor distributors. Under this scheme known as the Saradha Shield, the West Bengal government distributed Rs 250 crore to the people.
What the CAG wants to know?
The CAG has sought details about this scheme. The money that was distributed to the poor depositors was tax payers money. The CAG wants to know about the details of this scheme and also the policy decisions attached to this scheme.
The CAG has further sought details of the beneficiaries. The West Bengal finance department which has this letter from the CAG will now have to respond to all the queries on how such a decision was taken.
How were public funds used?
The biggest problem while replying to the notice of the CAG would be to explain how public money was used to pay off depositors. Saradha was a private firm which indulged in a scam of an un-imaginable magnitude.
Is it the duty of the government to compensate the people with tax payers money when a private company has siphoned off so much money?
Officials did try to firefight
When it was decided to set up this scheme members of the West Bengal's finance department had told the government that rules did not permit the setting up of such a scheme.
The officials did try to impress upon the government to think twice before going ahead. However the government set up the Justice Shyamlal Commission to look into the issue. This was followed by a cabinet decision to compensate the people.
Was it a cover up?
There are several questions that are being raised by people as to why the government jumped the gun in compensating people so soon. This was a private firm which indulged in the scam after all.
The allegation was that several members of the TMC were close to the Saradha group and they felt that by compensating people with the tax payers money they could keep the heat on them at bay.