Action has been initiated against the fraudulent beneficiaries by the department for labour and employment informed legislators.
The labour department has removed 489 beneficiaries from the list of Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) and has shifted 14 individuals to the employment exchange list as they were “wrongly registered” as construction workers.
Labour and employment minister Jennifer Monserrate informed the legislators that the 489 beneficiaries failed to produce documents to back their claim of being construction workers.
However, the department has succeeded in recovering funds from 12 individuals who were not entitled to receive the funds.
“Notices had been issued to all the labour inspectors for re-verification of ineligible beneficiaries registered with the GBOCW Board,” said Monserrate in response to a written question raised by GFP president Vijai Sardesai.
“14 beneficiaries have been transferred from BOCW list to employment exchange as they were wrongly registered under BOCW,” she said.GFP was the first to blow the lid on the siphoning of funds meant for labourers as part of the Covid-19 relief scheme for BOCW.
GFP pursued the matter with the Goa Lokayukta and just a day ahead of his retirement as Goa Lokayukta, Justice (retd) P K Misra directed the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate the case and to file an FIR against those involved.
In the order, Misra tore into government officials, politicians and high-ranking officials and even suggested that the investigation should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The BJP-led government has entrusted the investigation to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which is headed by the chief minister.
GFP had alleged that the state government had misused the scheme to channel the funds to BJP functionaries, including some village sarpanch and panchs.
Each of the beneficiaries not only received Rs 6,000 as Covid-19 relief, but were also receiving other benefits since April 2016.