4.3 LMT paddy arrives in Punjab on Diwali, VB to probe : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

4.3 LMT paddy arrives in Punjab on Diwali, VB to probe

44 teams set up across Punjab, records seized

4.3 LMT paddy arrives in Punjab on Diwali, VB to probe

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14

The Vigilance Bureau today launched an inquiry into an alleged paddy scam where nearly 4.7 lakh metric tonne (LMT) of paddy arrived in several grain markets in Punjab on Diwali. The inquiry aims to find out how much of the paddy arrival was bogus.

Director, VB, Varinder Kumar has set up 44 teams to probe the matter. The teams have seized records regarding the arrival of paddy before and on Diwali from several grain markets. Sources said the VB was also seeking records from commission agents (arhtiyas) so that it could tally it with the data in the grain markets.

“It is an enormous task. The seizure of records is just the first step. The entries will have to be cross-checked with the record of previous days,” said a Vigilance official.

The impact of the alleged scam is far-reaching. Under the procurement process, Punjab buys produce from farmers on behalf of the Food Corporation of India, which comes under the Central government. Later, the state claims payment from the Centre. The allegations of bogus paddy purchase may cause problem in the process.

The inquiry was ordered after a complaint was filed by Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Secretary, Food and Supply Department on Monday.

In his complaint, Gurkirat said: “The pattern of paddy arrival in the past few days points to serious discrepancies. An unprecedented arrival of 4.7 LMT has been booked by market committee officials on the Diwali day whereas such an arrival has never been recorded on the festival day in the past since farmers are aware that staff, labour and arhtiyas are unavailable (on such days). This clearly points to an attempt by unscrupulous elements to recycle paddy and book fake purchases.”

He also pointed out that a substantial number of mandis had been closed across the state, including in border districts of Sangrur, Ropar, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Fazilka and Muktsar, as there were unconfirmed reports of attempts to get paddy from neighbouring states into Punjab. However, officials of several market committees continued to accept paddy on subsequent days in closed mandis, he stressed.

Talking to The Tribune, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said generally the paddy arrival dips on the Diwali day. “It is strange that the arrival had increased by 70,000 MT over the previous day, prompting the government to get the record verified,” he said.

However, farmers say that the arrivals remained high on Diwali due to late harvesting.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Diwali


Top News

X disagrees with government action to block accounts, posts linked to farmers’ protest

X disagrees with government action to block accounts, posts linked to farmers’ protest

The Ministry of Electronics and IT has ordered social media ...

Congress-AAP talks on seat sharing in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana in final stages: Sources

Congress-AAP talks on seat sharing in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana in final stages: Sources

Both sides have agreed on the seats to be contested by each ...

Kiru hydropower case: CBI searches premises of former J-K governor Satya Pal Malik, 29 other locations

CBI searches premises of former J-K governor Satya Pal Malik in Kiru hydropower case

The agency starts its operation in the morning with around 1...


Cities

View All