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CAG Points Graft Fingers At Agriculture Department

IMPHAL, Mar 25 :According to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), for a period extending up to March 31 last year which was tabled before the State Assembly today, Rs 49.84 lakhs meant for purchasing soybean and black dal (sagol hawai)   seeds have been misappropriated in the Agriculture Department.

Speaking to media persons this afternoon at AG conference hall, Accountant General of Manipur Stephen Hongray said that the report was tabled before the State Assembly today.

The report contains eight chapters pertaining to State Finance Account, performance audit and public sector undertakings.

According to the report, Agriculture Department purchased 45 metric tonnes each of soybean and black dal seeds worth Rs 49.84 lakhs from a Kolkata based firm in 2008 for distribution to farmers.

The supply order was issued on the request of the private firm without administrative approval or expenditure sanction, the report mentioned.

The crop seeds were delivered to the Agriculture Department on three trucks in three phases between June 9 and June 13, 2008. In return, money for purchasing the seeds was delivered to the firm within the same month.

These seeds were produced by the Gwalior based M/s Singh Beej Bhander and certified by the Madhya Pradesh State Seed Certification Agency.

But later the Madhya Pradesh State Seed Certification Agency clarified that it could not locate the address of M/S Singh Beej Bhander and that it did not certify any seeds produced by it.

Interestingly, one delivery challan of the firm was made before proforma bills were prepared on June 2, 2008 whereas two other delivery challans were made on the same day (June 2).

The CAG also pointed out the impossibility of delivering two consignments of the seeds by a single driver as stated by the delivery challans after a gap of just five days (June 9 and June 13) as Imphal and Kolkata are 1565 Kms apart. Whereas it was recorded in the department’s stock register that 45 metric tonnes of soybean seeds were received, but was written as only 30 metric tonnes in the delivery challan hinting that the money was misappropriated.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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