Friday, May 26, 2017

Anna Bhagya Scheme: Irregularities in procurement of commodities, RTI activist alleges scam of Rs 23 crore

India Today: Bengaluru: Friday, May 26, 2017.
After the tragic death of Anurag Tiwari, the young IAS officer who worked as the Commissioner in the Food and Civil Supplies department, many irregularities are coming out of the closet.
A social worker and RTI activist from Gokak town in the Belagavi District of Karnataka has come out with allegations that in the month of February and March, there were irregularities in purchase of food grains to the tune of Rs 23 crore.
The activist has raised questions on the prices at which certain commodities have been procured by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies for distribution to beneficiaries under the Anna Bhagya scheme.
According to the information he obtained under the RTI Act, 2005, and from public documents and agriculture-based websites, he found out that a huge scam took place with the direct knowledge of those in power.
He has pointed that a total of 2,10,468 quintals of substandard green gram was purchased from National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited for a sum of Rs 12.653 crore in February and March this year. The allegations are that the department paid an average price of Rs 6,012 per quintal, much higher than the average price which is in the range from Rs 3,800 to Rs 4,500 per quintal in the market.
In this way, with a minimum difference of Rs 1,000 per quintal between the average procurement and market prices, the department paid Rs 21.04 crore over and above the market price for green gram.
Similarly, the department purchased 88,320 quintals of S-30 grade sugar at Rs 400 per quintal kg and another stock of 16,900 quintals for Rs 4,300. However, the price in the open market was only Rs 38. The price difference shows that Rs 2.37 crore extra was paid to procure sugar.