The Madhya Pradesh government has unearthed a Rs 90-crore agriculture scam in five districts and suspended four agriculture deputy directors in this connection, principal secretary agriculture Rajesh Rajora said on Tuesday.
Separate internal probes were ordered on April 4 , 2015 after a number of complaints about irregularities were received by the agriculture department from five districts of Ujjain, Rewa, Satna, Dhar and Ratlam.
The size of the scam might grow once the reports from other districts pour in by July 15, the principal secretary said, adding the process was on to lodge an FIR against other officials involved in the scam.
He said the probe was ordered in the cases of the last three financial years and separate committees were formed to conduct the inquiry.
The inquiry teams found financial irregularities in 20-odd agriculture schemes.
Prominent among them are Sprinkler, Pipeline and Dripset Scheme, Seed Distribution Programme, Soorajdhara and Annapurna Scheme, Beejgram Scheme, Balram Talab Scheme, Organic Farming Scheme, Fertiliser and Insecticide Quality Control Programme, Diesel Pump and Other Agricultural Tools Buying Scheme, Crop Demonstration Scheme, Dalhan Scheme under National Food Security Mission besides others.
These probe reports pointed out huge discrepancies in the accounts which did not tally with other registers of the department.
Sources said in some cases fake quotations were found in the files of the farmer beneficiaries of the schemes where subsidy is provided to the farmers to buy agricultural tools etc.
In other cases, the money farmers get in the form of subsidy was not deposited in the farmers’ bank accounts, they said.
In many other cases, all the rules were thrown to the winds while selecting beneficiaries for the schemes.
According to the rules, the names of the farmers should be recommended by a committee comprising gram panchayat members.
But, in many cases either their consent was not taken or fake consent letters were filed with obvious intentions, the reports said.
The reports have also highlighted how the department officials did not check quality of fertilisers and insecticides to favour some dealers.
The probe teams were surprised to find how recommendations for substandard items were made on a few samples and no action was taken against the faulty dealers within the stipulated 30-day time allegedly to favour them — as after the lapse of the time period without action, the case against a dealer is deemed dropped.