CBI begins inquiry into Khemka’s complaint on seed supply

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New Delhi, October 18:  CBI has started a preliminary enquiry on a complaint by whistleblower IAS Ashok Khemka alleging irregularities in the supply of wheat seeds to Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC) by NAFED and NCCF.

Mr. Khemka, who was posted as Managing Director of HSDC between July 18, 2012 to March 4, 2013, had given a report to CBI seeking registration of a case against officials of National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) and National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) for selling seeds at inflated prices to HSDC.

“CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry to probe into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of wheat seeds in HSDC on the complaint of the then MD of HSDC. The allegations are that NCCF and NAFED supplied seeds at higher rates to HSDC causing loss to the exchquer,” CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said in a statement.

It is alleged that HSDC wanted to purchase nearly 10,000 tonnes of wheat seeds from private suppliers in case cooperative agencies — NCCF and NAFED — did not have enough stocks with them.

Despite the non-availability of seeds, both the cooperative agencies allegedly offered to supply the seeds after which HSDC did not approach private suppliers.

These societies allegedly sourced untreated wheat seeds from middlemen who have got it from private companies and supplied them to HSDC at over Rs. 2000 per quintal whereas if the Corporation had purchased directly from private players it would have cost it Rs. 1600 per quintal, Mr. Khemka, a 1991-batch IAS officer, had alleged.

The purchase of 10,000 tonnes of seeds, which was to be supplied to farmers on subsidised rates under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, at inflated prices resulted in loss of Rs. 5 crore to the exchquer, Mr. Khemka’s complaint had said.

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