AMARAVATI: A senior minister in the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday alleged misappropriation of funds under two schemes during the previous Telugu Desam Party regime.

Backward Classes Welfare Minister M Sankara Narayana claimed that the money was disbursed to non-existent people under the NTR Vidyonnati and the skill development schemes in the state.

NTR Vidyonnati was a scheme implemented by the previous TDP government to provide Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh financial assistance to each student belonging to the backward communities for pursuing higher education abroad.

The Kapu Corporation was the nodal agency for the scheme.

Under skill development, several centres were opened in all districts to impart necessary training to unemployed youth and Rs 1,000 was granted per head per month.

"There were no records of the persons who actually availed of the benefits but money was drawn. In this fashion, at least Rs 250 crore to Rs 300 crore was misappropriated," the minister told reporters in the Secretariat.

Asked if an inquiry would be conducted into this, he replied it was not possible because there were no records.

"We don't know who the people were, in whose names the money was drawn. But the money was clearly siphoned off.

There is no way it could be recovered now," Sankara Narayana pointed out.

The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government had since disbanded the NTR Vidyonnati scheme and brought in a new scheme in its place.

The skill development programme has now been attached to the Information Technology Department with a complete revamp of the structure.

The state government has decided to open 30 skill development centres across the state, covering all 25 Lok Sabha constituencies. (PTI)