HomePolitics and Current AffairsFormer IAS PV Ramesh puts himself in tight spot after objecting to...

Former IAS PV Ramesh puts himself in tight spot after objecting to arrest of Chandrababu Naidu

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A 1985 batch retired IAS officer P V Ramesh, who served as advisor to Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government for a few months before quitting the post in 2020, landed himself in problem by making controversial comments supporting Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the Rs 371 crore skill development corporation scam.
In an interview to a television channel, Ramesh, who served as Principal Secretary of the Finance Department in the AP government during Naidu regime, expressed surprise that the CID had filed the case against Naidu based on his statement before the CID in the case. 

Ramesh said that Naidu's role was confined to only taking policy decisions, while it was the then managing director (Premchandra Reddy) and secretary (Ajeya Kallam) in the case, questioning their absence from the proceedings.

The officials rather than leaders should be accountable for mistakes, he said.
Premachandra Reddy is a 1991 batch retired IAS officer while Ajeya Kallam is a 1983 batch IAS officer serving as principal Jagan Reddy after retirement.
Ramesh also expressed surprise over government's projection that the Naidu has been arrested on the basis of his ( Ramesh's) statement and he has become approver.

“This is not the case. The original note files are also missing,” he said.

However, the CID authorities said the case against Naidu was not filed only based on Ramesh's statement. It was just one of the evidences during the investigation, they said.

The CID authorities also hinted at taking stringent action against Ramesh for trying to influence the investigation and inquiry by making such statements.

“It is nothing but a contempt of when the case is still in the purview of the court,” the CID said.

The Scam:

In 2014, a few months after coming to power, then CM of N Chandrababu Naidu proposed to set up a skill development corporation under which skill development clusters would be set up across the state. The aim was to provide skills to unemployed youth.

Naidu's government entered into a MoU with Siemens India to set up skill development centres.

As per the MoU, the total cost of the project was Rs 3,356 crore, out of which the state government would provide 10 per cent only as a grant-in-aid while the rest would be invested by Siemens. On January 19, 2015, Naidu virtually inaugurated 17 skill development centres across the state.

The Allegation:

Meanwhile the government changed and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy became CM. In March 2021, he said in the that the skill development corporation was a scam, and that Naidu was the main perpetuator and beneficiary of the scam. After a preliminary investigation the AP CID registered an FIR on December 9, 2021 and took up investigation.

The key allegations are that the TDP government released Rs 371 crore in a hurry within three months of the launch of the project without Siemens investing even a single rupee.

While about Rs 130 crore was spent on the project, Rs 241 crore was allegedly diverted to at least five shell companies — Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens.

The CID also found that no note files were signed by the then Principal Secretary, Finance, and the then , raising questions about transparency. The CID suggested that attempts were made to destroy critical documentary evidence linked to the scandal.

The BuckStopper Reporter
The BuckStopper Reporterhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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