Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government suspended three Finance Department officials for leaking sensitive and confidential information to some media houses in the state.

The AP government had ordered for a vigilance inquiry in the light of series of news items in various newspapers. Some newspapers have misrepresented and twisted the facts to malign the government and cause undue panic in the public.

A preliminary inquiry has revealed that Nagulapati Vekateswarlu, Assistant Secretary to Government, C&DM Section, Finance Department along with Kasireddy Vara Prasad, Section Officer, C&DM Section, Finance Department have passed on confidential information to D. Sreenu Babu, Section Officer, who in turn shared the information with media.

Nagulapati Vekateswarlu's role in leaking confidential data is also being probed. Sources said he was fully aware of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information. Insiders said he deliberately leaked the information to media houses.

"Whereas, disciplinary proceedings against Nagulapati Vekateswarlu, are being contemplated. After careful consideration of the available material and having due regard to the circumstances of the case, are satisfied that it is necessary to place Nagulapati Vekateswarlu under suspension. Similarly, the AP government suspended Kasireddy Vara Prasad and D. Sreenu Babu. The three suspended officers should not leave the headquarters without obtaining the prior permission of the competent authority," said an official communique.

It may be recalled that the AP government informed Union Ministry of Finance that it had raised loans worth Rs 18,500 crore through the Andhra Pradesh State Development Corporation (APSDC) from various public sector banks during 2020-21 by pledging its future tax revenue.

Finance Ministry pointed out to the state government that pledging of future tax revenue is "not in consonance" with the constitution. Finance Ministry has now sought comments from the Andhra government for several perceived financial irregularities in the state's finances.

Finance Ministry sought comments after the alleged violation was pointed out through an opinion piece written by retired former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, IYR Krishna Rao.

The former bureaucrat alleged that the AP government was using the loans to fund its welfare schemes. Subsequently, YSRCP rebel Member of Parliament Raghu Ramakrishna Raju Kanumuru also wrote to the Finance Ministry and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging financial irregularities.

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