Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Thursday the audit conducted by his department has detected irregularities worth Rs 500 crore in civic bodies of Amritsar and Jalandhar during 10-years of previous SAD-BJP regime.
After a surprise visit at the Jalandhar Improvement Trust, he said while irregularities worth Rs 225 crore had been detected in an audit of Amritsar civic body, discrepancies of over Rs 250 crore unearthed in Jalandhar, an official release said.
He said during the last 10 years of rule of the SAD-BJP alliance, these civic bodies including the municipal corporations and improvement trusts were transformed into "den of corruption where irregularities and scams were the order of the day".
Citing example, the minister said the civic bodies were still following old single entry system.
Likewise, he said that in complete violation of the norms, no daily, weekly and monthly cash books were maintained by the civic bodies.
Mr Sidhu said prime properties in these cities were either allowed to be encroached or were given on lease to benefit few people at "throwaway prices without any proper agreement".
The minister said that the "biggest fraud" was misinterpretation of demarcation made by the state government to benefit affluent people.
The minister said this was just tip of iceberg as Rs 500 crore discrepancies pertain to only 40-50 per cent record which was available for the audit whereas the remaining record has not been provided to the audit company, which was undertaking this work.
He warned officials who were not submitting the record that stern action would be taken against them if they do not submit the record in coming days.
Mr Sidhu categorically said that no one, found guilty for these discrepancies, would be spared at any cost and strict action would be taken against them.
Listing measures to be initiated by the state government in checking such discrepancies in future, the minister said that e-governance was the ultimate solution for this.
He said that complete satellite mapping of all the buildings in the state was on the cards, adding that all government properties would be computerised very soon.