Millers, BKU too get into paddy procurement mess in Haryana
A day after the leaders of the principal opposition party - Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) - in Haryana alleged a major scam in the paddy procurement involving the rice millers and state government officials, the issue got further muddled on Thursday with the rice millers and the farmers’ union too jumping into it with versions.punjab Updated: Dec 04, 2015 09:41 IST
A day after the leaders of the principal opposition party - Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) - in Haryana alleged a major scam in the paddy procurement involving the rice millers and state government officials, the issue got further muddled on Thursday with the rice millers and the farmers’ union too jumping into it with versions.
Haryana Rice Millers Association dismissed all the allegations levelled by opposition parties, including the Congress, and denied any role in procurement of paddy. Association president Satpal Gupta flayed the INLD and Congress for dragging millers in a political mud-slinging. Maintaining that the 1509 paddy variety was procured by only some big millers and not by more than 700 millers, he said that procurement of paddy from other states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh was a part of routine trading only and the opposition parties should not disrupt the same. “We are being shown as villains for no fault of ours,’’ he added.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana unit leader Gurnam Singh Charuni alleged in a statement that several millers paid Rs 100 to Rs 300 less per quintal on paddy to farmers while procuring it, on account of moisture. He also alleged that several millers were now bringing cheap variety of paddy from other states to show it as part of the stocks as there was no separate record of stocks of 1509 variety which too was procured and now had a better price in the market.
The BKU leader also held that its workers also caught several trucks loaded with paddy coming to state from outside. Alleging a major scam, he demanded a thorough investigation in the same.
INLD, CONG ALLEGATIONS
The INLD and Congress leaders had raked up the issue in the recent assembly session and INLD leader Abhay Chautala on Wednesday claimed that his party workers had caught three trucks loaded with paddy brought from outside the state which, he alleged, were meant to be shown in the procured stocks of millers in the state.
He alleged there were grave irregularities in procurement of paddy as the state government bought a particular variety of paddy (1509) at a low price from farmers of Haryana, its price jumped a few days later and thus the millers benefited in a big way. The market price of this variety jumped subsequently and the allegation is that in the absence of separate record, the millers might take undue advantage and make a killing by selling 1509 at higher price and replace the gap with common variety. GOVT STICKS TO ITS GROUND Meanwhile, the government had decided to get the physical verification of the paddy stocks done to counter the allegation levelled by opposition parties regarding “ghost purchase” of paddy and irregularities in purchase of 1509 variety of paddy and consequent undue gain to millers at the cost of farmers.
“There is not even a grain of any irregularity in the whole process,” director, food and supplies department Sanjay Joon told HT. The government traditionally does not buy 1509 or any other basmati variety but had pitched in because of low market rate — which were even lower than the MSP of the common variety at one point of time - and on demand of farmers’ organisations.
“We have procured 43.5 lakh metric tonne paddy, of which about 1.72 lakh MT is of 1509 variety. We procure only grade A variety (2.5+ parameter) and not the common variety.” he said.