The National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed), has suspended one of its managers for violating the policy of purchasing seeds from registered firms.
The move came after whistleblower Ashok Khemka's complaint to the CBI about irregularities in wheat seed supply.
"We have placed our Ludhiana branch manager, R.P. Sharma, under suspension," Nafed chairman Dr Bijender Singh told this reporter. The suspension order was issued five days ago.
The action comes after the CBI, on receiving Khemka's complaint, wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture - which asked the Nafed to probe the allegation that non-certified wheat seeds were supplied to the Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC).
The PSU, in its internal probe, has found Sharma guilty of misusing various provisions of the Nafed policy.
Sources said Sharma had written a letter on November 3, 2010, while on leave, assuring the HSDC that the Nafed has 20,000 quintals of wheat seeds in its stock.
Details of the seed scam
The seeds supplied to the Haryana government were not certified and procured through unregistered firms, the sources said, adding that Sharma has also been found guilty of misleading the Haryana government and sullying the PSU's image.
Khemka, who was the Managing Director of HSDC from July 18, 2012 to March 4, 2013, had given a report to the CBI seeking registration of a case against officials of the National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF) and Nafed for selling seeds at inflated prices to the HSDC.
"NCCF and Nafed procured seeds from 32 private agencies at a price between Rs 1,450 and Rs 1,700 per quintal, but sold it to HSDC at Rs 2,050 and pocketed a margin of Rs 350 to Rs 450 per quintal," Khemka's complaint says.
The Haryana IAS officer had also found the role of four officers suspicious. Now with the CBI registering a preliminary enquiry on Friday, four Haryana government officers and 32 seed suppliers are likely to come under the scanner of the probe agency.
By Manjeet Sehgal
PUBLISHED: 21:21 GMT, 20 October 2013 | UPDATED: 21:37 GMT, 20 October 2013
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2469391/One-suspended-Khemkas-wheat-seed-scam-complaint.html#ixzz2iNHtMXJg
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