Extra hassle for Ashu as paddy purchased greater than complete yield
Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, September 16
Extra hassle is brewing for former Meals and Provide Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu because the Vigilance Bureau probe into the tender allotment rip-off for lifting of foodgrains has unravelled the darkish underbelly of grain procurement within the agrarian state.
In not less than 4 paddy procurement seasons, the quantity of foodgrains procured by the procurement companies within the state was a lot increased than the full paddy manufacturing within the state.
With the arrest of arhtiya Krishan Lal Dhotiwala by the Vigilance Bureau yesterday, the investigators declare that the lid has been blown off the paddy procurement rip-off.
High officers within the Vigilance Bureau mentioned that the huge distinction in paddy procurement vis-a-vis the manufacturing within the state had typically been raised by the Centre through the tenure of the earlier authorities.
“It is for that reason that the paddy procurement goal for Punjab was downsized by the Centre final yr after it smelt a rat,” mentioned a senior officer investigating the matter.
“Now, an intensive investigation has revealed how paddy meant for public distribution in different states was dropped at Punjab at Rs 1,100- Rs 1,200 per quintal. It was then both blended within the domestically produced paddy and bought to the federal government companies or bought on to authorities companies on the a lot increased MSP.
“For every quintal of paddy bought to procurement companies, a sum of Rs 600-Rs 700 per quintal was pocketed (as MSP ranged between Rs 1,700 and Rs 1,888 per quintal within the mentioned interval). Faux data have been made within the mandis to indicate that the paddy has been bought from native farmers,” mentioned the officer.
He mentioned that in 2020, some chats between an official of PUNSUP and a dealer on this regard, the place the official was in search of cash for permitting paddy from exterior the state and had named Ashu as a beneficiary of the “spoils”, are additionally being examined.
The probe has identified that storage of foodgrains was made within the shellers owned by Dhotiwala, a fee agent in Mullanpur Dakha. Foodgrains purchased at a low charges was once introduced from different states. The position of each Ashu and now dismissed deputy director in Meals Division, Rakesh Singla, is being investigated.