Published On: Tue, Jul 4th, 2017

Wheat seed scam: Agriculture minister gives consent to FIR against 8 officials

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Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal yesterday recommended the lodging of an FIR against eight officers of Uttarakhand Seeds and Tarai Development Corporation Ltd (USTDC) for their alleged involvement in the Rs 16 crore wheat seed scam for Rabi season.

“Based on prima facie evidence as indicated in the enquiry report submitted by Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Dr Ranbir Singh, I have recommended the lodging of an FIR against eight officers,” the minister told reporters.

The Agriculture Minister said former chief engineer PK Chauhan had already been suspended and MD PS Bisht served a show-cause notice.

The officers who have been nailed in the report for their alleged role included RK Nigam, company secretary, Deepak Pandey, chief executive marketing, deputy chief marketing officer AK Lohni and others.

According to the enquiry report, the rules were violated as the seeds were said to have been sent to the distributors in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar without taking advance payments at two stages in 2015-2016.

Later in December 2015, it was declared that the seeds had got spoilt in the warehouses, so the discount scheme was announced in which the seeds were sold at a discount of 30 per cent. Again in January 2016, another scheme was announced, this time it was for the farmers, who would get one bag of seeds free, if they bought two. “But for both the schemes, it were the distributors who benefited,” said Uniyal.

The minister further said the officials did not give any reason for launching the schemes. “They should have informed that the distributors were refusing to procure the wheat, but they kept the corporation in the dark regarding the reasons behind the launch of the scheme,” Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal added.

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