Punjab VB team raids grain markets to check bogus billing - Hindustan Times
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Punjab VB team raids grain markets to check bogus billing

By, Chandigarh
Nov 15, 2023 06:06 AM IST

Nearly 40 teams of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) raided various grain markets to access stock of paddy procured in the wee hours on Tuesday. Suspecting foul play in a paddy purchase on Diwali, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh on Monday has asked the VB to investigate the matter.

Following a complaint by the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs secretary, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh about bogus purchase in grain markets on Diwali, nearly 40 teams of the Vigilance Bureau (VB) raided various grain markets to access stock of paddy procured in the wee hours on Tuesday.

Following a complaint by the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs secretary, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh about bogus purchase in grain markets on Diwali, nearly 40 teams of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) raided various grain markets to access stock of paddy procured in the wee hours on Tuesday. (HT File Photo)
Following a complaint by the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs secretary, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh about bogus purchase in grain markets on Diwali, nearly 40 teams of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) raided various grain markets to access stock of paddy procured in the wee hours on Tuesday. (HT File Photo)

“Nearly 40 teams raided various grain markets of Punjab to check the irregularities which are flagged by the department. The teams have taken records of the stock of paddy procured, shifting and transportation, names of farmers from whom the purchase was made on Diwali, to cross check every entry. It’s a time-taking process, but the VB has taken most of the record,” said a VB official.

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Suspecting foul play in a paddy purchase on Diwali, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh on Monday has asked the VB to investigate the matter.

The official suspects a bogus purchase in the 4.7 lakh metric tonne (MT) paddy procurement.

In the letter addressed to the vigilance chief director, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh has requested him to treat this issue as “most urgent”.

He said, “The pattern of arrivals of paddy in the past few days point to serious discrepancies. An unprecedented arrival of 4.7 lakh MT has been booked by market committee officials on the day of Diwali, whereas such an arrival has never been experienced on the festive day since farmers are aware that the staff, labour and arhtiyas are unavailable. This clearly points to an attempt by unscrupulous elements to recycle paddy and book fake purchases.”

He pointed out that a substantial number of mandis had been closed across the state, including in the border districts of Sangrur, Ropar, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Fazilka and Muktsar, as there were unsubstantiated reports of attempts to get paddy from neighbouring states into Punjab.

However, farmers said that as the department was closing mandis in various areas, a day before Diwali and on Diwali farmers reached in heavy numbers to sell the grains.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

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