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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Corrupt bureaucrats:  CBI seeks sanction to probe Union power secretary, agriculture secretary in UP PF scam

The Union power secretary Alok Kumar and agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal may soon be repatriated to their cadre state Uttar Pradesh where the CBI has sought sanction to investigate them in a Rs 2,268 crore PF scam, as per media reports.

Reports said that the order for their repatriation may come “any time” as the Union government does not want to face the embarrassment of having its top officers investigated for corruption. The government, therefore, wants to shift the action to the state.

The CBI has sought the sanction to probe the two officers in a case relating to illegally investing the provident fund of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) employees in a private company Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL), which was later accused of siphoning off Rs 31,000 crore of bank loans through a web of shell companies, as per the reports.

The UPPCL invested a total of Rs 4,122 crore in short-term fixed deposit schemes of DHFL, out of which Rs 1,854 crore was received on maturation of FDs, but Rs 2,268 crore is still not recovered.

Sanjay Agarwal was UPPCL chairman from 2013 to the middle of 2017, and part of the UPPCL employees’ PF money was invested in DHFL during this period. The investment in DHFL was in violation of government guidelines that expressly said that PF money should not be invested in a financial institution that is not a scheduled bank. Agarwal was succeeded in UPPCL by Alok Kumar, who continued investing in DHFL. Kumar remained at the helm of UPPCL for almost two years, reports said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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