Maharashtra tur milling scam: Senior government official suspended
Anil Deshmukh, general manager of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation, was not available for comment despite repeated attempts to reach him.mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2018 10:41 IST
Following allegations of a scam of hundreds of crores in the milling of tur dal (pigeon pea) procured from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) last kharip season, the state government has suspended Anil Deshmukh, general manager of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation, a state government undertaking.
The Federation found irregularities in the allotment of the bids while conducting the preliminary examination for the tender process of a contract to mill the tur.
The state had procured more than 25 lakh quintal tur at Rs5,050 a quintal at MSP after the market rates crashed owing to last year’s bumper crop. Since there were no takers for the tur in the market at the procurement rate, the state government decided to sell the tur dal through the public distribution system and allot it to the government departments. It invited tenders last October.
While the tender condition had allowed a 30% cutoff percentage of the loss of production, it was then increased to 33% and 35 % after bidding.
The tender conditions were redesigned in such a fashion that the contractor may have given the milling contract for entire stock, when the initial plan was for intended only for 10% of the stock.
Deshmukh has also been held responsible for not retrieving money from earlier contractors who did not fulfil tender conditions.“We have suspended Deshmukh and a departmental inquiry has been ordered,” said Yogesh Mhase, managing director of the Federation.
Leader of opposition in the legislative council Dhanajay Munde said, “When the permissible losses were merely 28% in 2016-17, it should have been less in 2017-18 as the quality of the tur was better. But it was allowed to be 35% just to benefit the millers.”
Deshmukh was not available for comment despite repeated attempts to reach him.