While poor suffer, JKEDI Sanctions Fast Loans to Rich!

Vague Survey Yields Big Loan for Property Dealer’s Son: Rs17.60 Lakh Disbursed

Abrar Mattoo

SRINAGAR, Apr 6: A misleading field survey report by a senior officer of the Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) has led to the sanction and withdrawal of Rs. 17.60 lakh from the state exchequer under a centrally sponsored scheme meant for poor and marginalized students amongst the minorities.

According to the documents in possession of Kashmir Despatch the amount has been sanctioned as soft loan to a blue eyed candidate from central Kashmir’s Budgam district after the then District Officer of JKEDI Budgam conducted the survey to check the veracity of the family income claim made by the applicant.

JKEDI implements the Education Loan scheme of the Government of India in Jammu and Kashmir and the scheme has been quite beneficial to hundreds of poor students across the erstwhile state of J&K who have pursued professional and technical courses in different colleges of the country and abroad.

However, few cases where scheme norms have been “flouted” by a field functionary to help the economically sound aspirants get benefitted under the scheme have surfaced in district Budgam.

According to the documents, a son of a ‘Budgam property dealer and owner of 100 kanals of land’ has been mischievously covered under the scheme to help him pursue MBBS in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The loan has been sanctioned under the education loan scheme of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), actually meant to help the children from economically downtrodden and marginalized families from amongst the minorities under defined credit lines to pursue professional and technical courses in India and abroad.

Anayat Ali Air, Son of Ali Mohamad Mir of Patwaw, Budgam applied for educational loan at JKEDI centre Budgam under the NMDFC scheme in the year 2018 to pursue MBBS in East West College, Dhaka Bangladesh.

The loan application was processed and a mandatory pre-sanction survey was conducted by the then District Nodal Officer, Budgam on 30-11-2018.

In the survey report, a copy of which lies with the Kashmir Despatch the then distyrict nodal officer has mentioned in the recommendation column – “The candidate intends to go for MBBS at East West College, Dhaka Bangladesh. While visiting the family of the candidate the undersigned found a three-storey well maintained house with two (02) kanals of land, around at Hillmission, Patwaw village of district Budgam. They have a joint family with one uncle and grandparents and are doing a family business. They also possess around 100 kanals of land at some remote place in Budgam”.

However, the surveyor has maintained silence over whether she was “SATISFIED” or “NOT SATISFIED” with the family income of the applicant as mentioned in the income certificate issued by the concerned Tehsildar. The then EDI officer preferred not to tick the relevant income column and had left it blank rather than selecting one of the options.

As per the set procedure for sanctioning the loan cases, the purpose of the survey report is to sift the applications in the initial stage only. If the surveyor is satisfied with the family income the case is recommended accordingly for approval. However, if the income is on higher side the case is rejected upfront. But the then officer has submitted the file of the applicant for approval along with a misleading survey report, which is against the norms, reliable sources revealed to Kashmir Despatch. “The surveyor was supposed to reject the case ab initio but that was not done,” sources added.

Ironically, the process from pre-sanction survey to final sanction of the loan was done in a quick manner taking just of 14 days while the institute normally takes months together to process the loan cases of the marginalized applicants.

“The district officer who conducted the survey herself despite the presence of other staff members then submitted the said survey report under seal and signature to the concerned scheme section of JKEDI for further necessary action and approval of the then Director on 01-12-2018,” sources informed.

Accordingly, the loan was sanctioned within just 12 days vide sanction letter No. JKEDl/NMDFC/2018/246 Dated: 13-12-2018 and the bank advice was forwarded to the International Banking Division, J&K Bank for transfer of funds to the college where the applicant was enrolled.

The blue-eyed candidate whose family income is much above the eligibility criteria as laid down by the concerned ministry has been pursuing MBBS ever since in Dhaka, Bangladesh after getting unduly benefitted under a government sponsored scheme, otherwise meant for the poor children who cannot normally afford quality professional education on their own.

Pertinently, according to the scheme guidelines laid down by the NMDFC, New Delhi, under Credit Line-I, any applicant falling in the income level of Rs 1,20,000/- for Urban areas and Rs 98,000/- for Rural areas can avail the education loan facility of Rs 20 lakhs for courses in India and upto Rs 30 lakhs abroad.

Under Credit Line –II the applicants in the income level of Rs 8.00 lacs per annum can be considered. However, the set criterion has not been followed in this case. The applicant’s family owns 100 kanals of land which is worth crores of rupees.

Sources told Kashmir Despatch that the beneficiary’s family is involved in wholesaling of vegetable supplies and have been granted a temporary over draft facility to the tune of Rs11 lakh from a reputed bank.

Kashmir Despatch has learnt that there are more such instances where the EDI officers have violated the scheme guidelines and recommended loans in favour of the blue-eyed candidates who are now enjoying quality education in top professional colleges abroad while scores of poor students have been making rounds of the institute to avail such facilities for education purpose for the last three years.

When Kashmir Despatch contacted the Director JKEDI for comments, he feigned ignorance in the matter and said that “he will have to check records to confirm whether any manner of fraud has taken place.”

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