Monday, May 16, 2016

RS62 LAKH COTTON SEIZED IN B'NGIR RETURNED AT RS2.2L Monday, 16 May 2016 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

RS62 LAKH COTTON SEIZED IN B'NGIR RETURNED AT RS2.2L

Monday, 16 May 2016 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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In a bid to check the entry of illegal Bt cotton seeds into Balangir district, agriculture officers, police and THE Patnagarh Tehsildar had in June 2015 conducted a joint raid the Akash Enterprises and seized 27.43 quintals of Bt Cotton seeds of four companies worth Rs61.72 lakh.
But the seed companies were allowed to take away seized seeds by paying just 2.2 lakh to the District Red Cross fund by February 2016 and no case had been registered the dealer, raising suspicion of corruption practices and making mockery of the raid.
During the raid, Akash Enterprises owner Khageshwar Meher could not produce cash bills or any document to establish from where he had brought the seized Bt cotton. The Deputy Director of Agriculture issued a show-cause notice to him as to why action should not be taken against him as per the Seed Act.
The Deputy too issued notices the companies, the Bayer Crop Science Pvt Ltd, Nath Bio-Genes(I) Aurangabad and the Nuzi Veddu Seeds Rangareddy, Telegana to clarify how their products were hoarded illegally and why their lincences would not be cancelled. But what was surprising is that the authorities appointed a brother of the dealer to as custodian of the seized godown.
While officials argued that it was wise to return the same to the companies at a fine as the seeds were getting damaged, people don't accept this plea and smell a corruption practice.
It is being discussed now that why no case under the Seed Act was registered against the seed companies and no punitive action was taken against the dealer.
According to sources, a cotton dealer reportedly told district Collector M Muthukumar in a meeting that they (dealers) pay huge amount of bribes to police at check gates for transportation of cotton seeds to Balangir.
Besides, an unconfirmed report stated that officials of the four seed companies gave huge amount of money to officials to take back the seeds.
When contacted, SP Deepak Kumar said he has not received any complaint and no case has been registered.
When contacted, Collector Muthukumar simply parried away the question only saying that they (the seed companies) have paid Rs2.20 lakh to the District Red Cross fund. 

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