• Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Officials foil bid to sell Bihar paddy in Punjab

Chandigarh, Oct 30 : Officials of the Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department on Tuesday recovered 5,000 bags of paddy from Bihar from a rice mill in Khanna town, around 65 km from here.

The recovery was made from United Agro Industries Rice Mills, Khanna.

The Department's Chief Vigilance Officer Rakesh Kumar Singla said that two trucks carrying 4,100 bags of paddy from Bihar were found on the spot and the contents of the third truck were offloaded in the mill premises.

"Upon interrogation, the drivers said that they had brought the paddy from Muzaffarpur in Bihar and the bills and other documents were taken from them when they reached the mill premises. The mill owner did not produce any document pertaining to the purchase of paddy," Singla said.

"Prima facie, this appears to be an attempt to sell paddy purchased at cheaper rates from other states in Punjab mandis. The modus operandi is to arrange a bogus auction of such paddy, which is purchased from other states at about Rs 800 to Rs 900 and sell in Punjab mandis at MSP of Rs 1,770 and earn a direct profit from the transaction as well as commission on selling it (during procurement by government agencies)," he pointed out.

Officials said that the Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department, through a series of raids over the past month, has recovered nearly 2.5 lakh bags of paddy and 2 lakh bags of the previous year's rice which was set to be pumped into Punjab this Kharif season (2018-19).