DGM suspended; plaint against supplier, 2 banks
A purchase scam running into Rs. 4.63 crore in the State-owned Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd. (KSDL), makers of the famed Mysore Sandal Soap, has come to light.
Deputy General Manager (Finance) Ravikumar, suspected to be involved in the scam, has been kept under suspension while the company has written to the Reserve Bank of India seeking action against two public sector banks.
The scam pertains to the purchase of raw materials for the soap. While the materials never reached the company from the vendor, KSDL made payments of Rs. 4.63 crore. The scam came to light after an internal probe was conducted. The probe report has now been submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for further action.
The scam has caused anxiety among employees. On Wednesday, a meeting was held between representatives of the KSDL Employees Union and the management.
‘Cause for concern’
“The meeting failed to reassure the union. The state of affairs in the company, which will complete 100 years in 2016, is a cause for concern,” union president G.R. Shivashankar told presspersons here on Thursday. He said bills totalling Rs. 4.63 crore were cleared without receiving raw materials from the vendor.
President of the Government Soap Factory Workers Association Michael B. Fernandes said the State government should conduct a probe and hold all those responsible accountable.
Acknowledging the development, KSDL Managing Director A.C. Keshavamurthy said the alleged irregularity was reported a year ago and procedural lapses could not be ruled out. An internal probe report was before the government, he said. He, however, refused to comment on the report findings.
He said a complaint had been filed against the erring supplier who en cashed the bills without supplying materials and banks involved in the transaction. The company suspended the Deputy General Manager (Finance) a month ago in connection with the case. “We have written to the RBI seeking action against two banks that cleared the amount without verification.”