Published On: Thu, Dec 5th, 2013

In Akhilesh’s UP, seeds of scam
sown for second consecutive year

Govt Again Ropes In Pvt Players Who Supplied Poor Quality Seeds Last Year

Audit Raised Objection Against Last Year’s Purchase From Private Players

Last Year, Seeds Worth Rs 22 Cr Returned To Suppliers For Their Poor Quality

Lucknow: The cooperative department helmed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle and his son has allegedly gone ahead sowing the seeds of a scam for the second successive year despite objections in the audit and by the agriculture production commissioner.

Audit raised objection against last year’s purchase from private players

Audit raised objection against last year’s purchase from private players

Last year, the Uttar Pradesh Pradeshik Cooperative Federation (UPPCF), throwing all the norms to wind, purchased seeds from private players to be distributed among farmers. The intention of the government, which boasts of its pro-farmers credentials, was to provide quality seeds to them. However, the quality of the seeds was such that they may not germinate.

When much hue and cry was made about this alleged seeds scam which filled the coffers of the high and mighty in the UPPCF, seeds worth Rs 22 crore were returned to the suppliers in a huff. Surprisingly, the transportation and handling charges here were borne by the federation itself.

The UPPCF audit report has objected to this purchase and even agriculture production commissioner gave a clear instruction that in future seeds should not be purchased from private players. A copy of the audit report is with IndiLeak.

However, cocking a snook at the audit objection and the APC’s orders, the mandarin of PCF have again gone ahead to purchase the wheat seeds from the private agencies for the current Rabi season. IndiLeak  has the papers which show how the federation flouted its own boss’s order to oblige chosen few private players.

Chief minister’s uncle Shivpal Yadav is the minister of cooperative department while Shivpal’s son Aditya is the chairman of UPPCF. The two, naturally, will have a lot explaining to do for this ‘repeat’ act of the federation. When principal secretary, cooperatives, Debashish Panda, was asked why did the PCF bought seeds from private players this year despite audit objection and directives from the APC, he declined to comment. Queries sent to him through email went unanswered.

In the UPPCF audit report for the 2011-12, in the objection Nos 291&294, it is mentioned that wheat seeds worth Rs 160.30 crore were purchased with an intention to provide quality seeds to farmers. When reports started pouring in that the quality of the seeds was poor and had not germinated, seeds worth Rs 22 crore lying in UPPCF godowns were returned to the private suppliers.

In the audit objection, it is clearly mentioned that the private suppliers who were entrusted with the supply of wheat seeds neither had the requisite processing plants, nor had the capacity to supply the quantity allocated to them. Despite this, the federation overlooked government agencies like KRIBHCO and IFFCO, who have the capacity as well as the infrastructure to provide quality seeds as per specifications.

Under what circumstances the private players were selected and what actually was the criteria for their selection are still under cloud. A probe ordered by the state government in this regard is still inconclusive. Taking serious note of the departmental audit objection, the state government through a letter dated May 13, directed the registrar, UPPCF, to get the irregularities pointed out in the audit report thoroughly investigated.

Subsequently, the registrar constituted a probe committee headed by the finance controller, UPPCF, to investigate the irregularities committed in ‘seed purchase’ for the previous year.

The probe committee had sought information on 12 counts from the UPPCF MD through a letter dated August 6, 2012, but till date the information sought by it were still to be provided. A copy of the mentioned letters are with IndiLeak.

Taking note of the audit report in which glaring anomalies were pointed out in the purchase of seeds, the APC in its May 9, 2013 order, issued clear instructions that under no circumstances wheat seeds should be purchased from private players and all such procurement be made from government agencies.

Now, what made the UPPCF flout both audit objection and the APC’s order, only its top bosses can explain.

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