CVC looking into IFFCO's 'gift' to its MD
After being informed by a Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) circular on February 1 which said that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has jurisdiction over and superintendence over multi-state cooperative societies, the CVC is looking into how the Indian Farmers' Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) had gifted a prime property, located at Delhi's Hauz Khas area, to its serving MD and CEO Uday Shankar Awasthi in 'recognition of his contributions to the organization.
The said property L-4, in Delhi's posh Hauz Khas Enclave, comprises 1000 sq yards of land and a building, and is valued at at least Rs 50 crore.
Deputy commissioner of Delhi's south-west district, Nikhil Kumar, under whose jurisdiction the property falls, has written a letter addressed, among others, to the secretaries of agriculture, fertilizer, CVC, and the chief secretary, Delhi.
"A prima facie dubious, imprudent and financially improper transaction worth crores of rupees was brought to my notice, whereby, IFFCO has transferred the title, ownership, and possession of its prime property in the heart of Delhi to its MD vide conveyance deed dated 30/01/2013," Nikhil Kumar, deputy commissioner and district magistrate, Delhi (south-west district) has written in his letter.
Interestingly, IFFCO's conveyance deed handing over the property to Awasthi is dated January 30, 2013, just two days before the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) issued its circular.
"The said property has become the absolute property of the transferree, with the right to use, enjoy, sell, transfer and deal with the same as absolute owner thereof," Kumar told HT.
"Transferring such property to company officials for 'past services' is patently unique and unusual besides being contrary to the best interest of all stakeholders including the government," he adds.
IFFCO, an umbrella organization for about 40,000 farm cooperatives all across the country, had a sales turnover of Rs 25,600 crore in 2011-12. Deemed to be registered as a multi state co-operative society, it is fully owned by the cooperatives.
Meanwhile, IFFCO has denied the allegations saying neither is the cooperative government-owned or funded agency, nor the property in question is a public property.