An official reply obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act has revealed a Rs 62-crore scam, allegedly involving Markfed officials during 2012-13.
In reply to an RTI application, Markfed has revealed embezzlement of paddy stocks by rice sheller owners to the tune of more than Rs 62 crore in the districts of Moga, Jalandhar, Faridkot, Gurdaspur and Muktsar. The rest of the districts, including Ludhiana, are yet to provide information about the scam.
Local resident KC Sabharwal, a retired Markfed employee, said he had submitted an RTI application around three months ago to the public information officer (PIO), Markfed, demanding details of the scam. The PIO had directed district branches of Markfed to give information in this regard.
According to details provided by district branches of Markfed, the Moga district branch incurred loss of around Rs 35.13 crore, Gurdaspur (Rs 21.55 crore), Faridkot (Rs 4.92 crore), Jalandhar (Rs 2.43 crore) and Muktsar (Rs 1.47 crore). Markfed has sent the matter for arbitration.
During the probe, it was found that Markfed officials had got stored with rice sheller owners more paddy than the entitlement against a paltry security deposit (1.5% of the cost of paddy).
Markfed managing director Gurkirat Kirpal Singh could not be contacted despite several attempts.
When asked about the embezzlement and the role of officials, Markfed chief manager AS Sekhon said he was not authorised to make any statement on the matter.