Depute central team to investigate ‘seed scam’: Harsimrat to Union agri minister
Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, on Friday, urged Union agriculture and farmer welfare minister Narendra Singh Tomar to depute a central team to conduct an “impartial probe” into the alleged seed scam in Punjab.
In a written communiqué, Harsimrat has sought action against the accused who sold spurious breeder seeds of paddy to farmers at triple cost. She also urged that the case be forwarded to CBI for a thorough probe.
She said a massive seed scam was detected in Punjab which may affecting livelihood of farmers in the neighbouring states and pan-India.
She said unscrupulous elements playing with lives of farmers should be stopped immediately and advocated the need to safeguard interests of farmers who are “the backbone of the country’s economy and are working to ensure food security even in times of the coronavirus pandemic”.
She said the scam involves sale of spurious PR-128 and PR-129 paddy seed varieties of PAU Ludhiana, which were yet to be approved for commercial sale by private players. She said PAU had supplied a small quantity of seeds to farmers in May 2020 at the rate of Rs 70 per kg but the accused multiplied it illegally in October 2019 and sold truckloads of the spurious seed to unsuspecting farmers at the rate of Rs 200 per kg.
The Union minster said that despite registration of an FIR by the state agriculture department and seizure of spurious seeds of both paddy varieties from Brar Seed Store in Ludhiana on May 11, no follow up action has been taken.