Kerala Consumerfed chief dismisses graft charges

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 7 : Dismissing corruption allegations against Kerala State Cooperative Consumers' Federation Ltd. (Consumerfed), its president Joy Thomas Monday said vested interests have been levelling baseless accusations to destroy the federation, which is successfully protecting the common man's interests.

"It is the hoarders and black-marketers who are going to benefit from the nefarious campaign unleashed against Consumerfed. We will cooperate with the vigilance probe that has been launched in the wake of allegations. Such malicious reports are aimed at destroying the federation," said Thomas to the media persons here.

Consumerfed is the apex body of the consumer cooperatives, started in 1965 with the main objective to make bulk procurement of consumer goods and supply to affiliated and other cooperatives societies besides arranging for proper storage, packing, grading and transport of such goods.

Thomas said Consumerfed owes over Rs.370 crore to distributors and producers.

"The state government is yet to give us Rs.420 crore for the subsidised sale of items we undertook during the festive season. The delay in payment has affected our transactions and we have been forced to take a loan of Rs.520 crore from various banks and cooperative societies to ensure the smooth functioning of the federation," he said.

He said the federation had to shell out Rs.36 crore per year as interest on this loan.

Referring to allegations of fudging of stocks, he said that though proper accounts have been maintained at the warehouses, the employees, "due to confusion", could not present it properly when an inspection team comprising 20 to 30 officials conducted surprise searches.

"However, the accounts were later produced before the inspection teams," he said.

Reacting to reports related to auditing, he said the audit report till March 31, 2012, was completed and it received the approval from the state cooperatives department.

--IANS (Posted on 07-10-2013)

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