300 teams were deputed for verification
Additional Chief Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs Department Haryana, Mr. P.K Das said that in a bid to further strengthen the procurement mechanism and ensuing transparency and to avoid diversion or ghost purchase of paddy, from now onwards the transportation of the paddy from Mandis to rice mills will be done by the Haryana Food and Civil Supplies Department and other procurement agencies instead of leaving it to the Millers. The trucks deployed for transportation of paddy will be GPS-fitted so that their movement can be monitored.
The Additional Chief Secretary shared this while addressing a press conference here today.
Sharing the details about the data complied after the latest physical verification, he said that to check the stock availability and bogus paddy procurement, verification of 1304 rice mills in the State was done. The verification process, which was videographed, showed a shortfall of 42,589 metric tonnes (MT) in 1207 Rice Mills. He said that the physical verification was done for checking stock of 6440180.54 MT. However, after the verification, 6400400.28 MT was found in the Rice Mills.
The Additional Chief Secretary further shared that show-cause notices will be issued to the rice millers having a shortage in stock and they will be asked to explain the shortage. He said that after receiving the replies, strict action will be taken against the wrongdoers.
He said that an expenditure of around Rs 90 crores spent on the paddy procurement will be recovered along with interest. The other option like blacklisting and registration of FIR will also be started on the basis of sensitivity of irregularity.
He said that the department will also recover the spent expenditure along with the interest from the rice millers or arhtiyas (commission agents) involved in the bogus purchases.
While sharing the data regarding the shortfall, the Additional Chief Secretary said that during the verification, it was found that 205 mills had the shortfall of below 5 tonnes, 134 mills had a shortfall of 5 to 10 tonnes, 248 mills had a shortfall of 10-25 tonnes, in 325 mills a shortage of 25-50 tonnes and 295 mills had a shortage of more than 50 tonnes. He said that the highest mismatch in 284 Mills has been recorded in the Karnal district, followed by Kurukshetra where the shortfall has been found in 236 Mills. However, in Ambala a shortfall in 185 Mills has been detected. Likewise, the shortfall in 168, 150 and 115 mills was found in Fatehabad, Yamunanagar and Kaithal respectively.
The Additional Chief Secretary shared that about 300 teams were deputed for physical verification. He further informed that during the physical verification of rice mills, the department took into account factors of total paddy allotted, milling capacity of rice mills, custom milled rice available and delivered to FCI and paddy stock left with the Mills.
Meanwhile, responding to a question, the Additional Chief Secretary said that till date no objection has been raised by any Rice Millers, regarding the verification.