Zameer Khan Requests Report on Rs 4 Lakh Salary : Helpline Scam
On Monday, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, the Minister of Minority Welfare in Karnataka, took decisive action by initiating an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his department’s payment of a monthly salary of Rs 4 lakh to a company tasked with establishing a helpline for the purpose of distributing information on government schemes.
It has come to light that the said company had been receiving a monthly payment of Rs 4 lakh for a period of at least one year. Their role was to establish and manage a helpline dedicated to providing information about the various schemes offered by the minority welfare department.
During a review meeting, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, the Minister of Minority Welfare in Karnataka, came across what he termed as an “anomaly.” It was discovered that his department had been paying a company a monthly salary of Rs 4 lakh for at least a year to establish and operate a helpline dedicated to providing information on government schemes. Prompted by this revelation, the Minister took immediate action by ordering an inquiry into the matter. The objective of the investigation is to determine how such a substantial payment arrangement was made with the company for their helpline services related to the minority welfare department’s schemes.
During the review meeting, it was revealed that the company had been receiving a monthly payment of Rs 4 lakh for a minimum duration of one year. Their responsibility was to establish and manage a helpline dedicated to the implementation of schemes provided by the minority welfare department.
Amidst the discussion, Zameer Ahmed Khan expressed his curiosity as to why the helpline had been kept operational despite yielding limited benefits to the department. This raised concerns regarding the necessity and effectiveness of the helpline’s continuous operation.
Zameer Ahmed Khan, in a statement issued by his office, expressed his astonishment at the payment of a salary three times higher than that of the chief secretary. He questioned the necessity of having a separate helpline when the department was already spending Rs 2.5 crore annually on its regular helpline. The minister emphasized the importance of a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances that led to such a decision.
Furthermore, Zameer requested a comprehensive report on the payments made to contractors for projects executed in the past five years under the Minority Colony Development scheme. To ensure proper scrutiny, he called for the formation of an expert team that would evaluate the ongoing projects.
During the discussion, officials informed Zameer that an estimated amount of Rs 56 crore is required to complete the construction of 126 Shaadi Mahals (wedding halls) throughout the state. They also highlighted the increasing demand for more Shaadi Mahals. In response, Zameer requested a detailed proposal outlining the funding requirements to address these demands.
During the review, Zameer Ahmed Khan expressed his concern that children belonging to minority communities should not be deprived of education.
Currently, there are 126 minority residential schools and colleges in the state, out of which 29 are operating in rented buildings. The minister emphasized the need for all these institutions to have their own buildings by the following year. Zameer stated that if the enrollment of students is low, measures should be taken to increase it. Conversely, if there is a higher demand for admission than the fixed intake, additional buildings should be constructed to accommodate the students.
Furthermore, Zameer advocated for the inclusion of Kannada language education in the curriculum of Maulana Azad residential schools and colleges. The minister insisted that an adequate number of teachers and resource persons should be appointed to teach Kannada to minority students. He highlighted that while English is already being taught, it is equally important to introduce Kannada into the educational framework, emphasizing the significance of the local language.