Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday alleged that former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was kingpin of Rs 371 crore skill development scam in which four persons were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Jagan Mohan Reddy told the Legislative Assembly that the entire scam amount reached the TDP president and his men through shell companies through money laundering channels.
Intervening in the discussion on skill development scam, the Chief Minister elaborated on how Naidu skillfully orchestrated the scam by getting an unauthorised private note of estimates approved in the Cabinet meeting leading to the issuance of GO (government order) and then signing a totally different MoU with the unauthorised persons for looting public money to the tune of Rs 371 crore. He termed it as the biggest scam in the country.
"In the name of providing skills to students, the previous TDP government looted the state extensively. This is not just a big scam in the history of the state but also the biggest in the country. Chandrababu Naidu is a master in scamming people... Rs 71 crore were diverted through shell companies and unfortunately students have been the biggest sufferers," he said.
"Nara Chandrababu Naidu is guilty of abusing his power as a chief minister. His cabinet said one thing but in reality did something else. This scam started in AP and spread abroad. The money then came back into the state through shell companies from abroad. Only a criminal like Chandrababu can mastermind this scam," the CM asserted.
Chandrababu scripted and directed the scam so cunningly that the GO provisions and the MoU conditions were totally different, he said, explaining that while the Cabinet approved private note and the related GO talked of 90 per cent of the proposed total project cost of Rs 3356 crore for the development of the skills of the youth in the state coming from the Siemens in the form of grant-in-aid, there was no mention of the grant-in-aid in the MoU.
Again, while the GO talked of 10 per cent of project cost being borne by the government in form of contribution, it was changed as financial assistance in the provisions of the MoUs.
The grant-in-aid never came from the Siemens but the TDP government hurriedly paid the 10 per cent of the project cost equalling to Rs 371 crore (which includes taxes) in five tranches in a short period of three months, said the Chief Minister adding that it was a scam skillfully scripted, directed and executed by the skilled criminal Chandrababu Naidu.
The scam broke out even during the TDP rule as the intended taxes were never paid but the CID probe never moved ahead as it was stalled by Naidu, Jagan Mohan Reddy said.
When the lower level officials objected to the releasing of the 10 per cent financial aid without the grant-in-aid coming in from the Siemens, Chandrababu directed the officials to release the amount, he said, elaborating further that there were note files signed by the principal finance secretary and the then chief secretary to this effect.
Attempts were also made to destroy these note files by the TDP government but they are dug out now with the use of shadow files from the other departments, he said, adding that the Siemens Company also officially told the court that it never implemented any skill development training schemes and it had nothing to with the related GO or the MoU signed by the government. Siemens also told the court in its affidavit that the arrested company officials with whom the TDP government signed the MoU never brought it to the notice of the higher management and they signed the MoU in their private capacity, he said.
Chandrababu and his men entered into a conspiracy with the former officials of the Siemens (now arrested and undergoing judicial custody) to loot the public money, he said and asked: how can a Cabinet meeting approve a proposed note of the cost estimates prepared by individuals for establishing the skill development centres and clusters for training the youth taking it as DPR?
( 700 Words)