Two inspectors of Markfed and Pungrain have been suspended after the issue erupted of bogus billing of paddy procurement in the grain market of Patti (Tarn Taran). Several irregularities were found in the investigation conducted by the team of Food and Civil Supplies Department. The purchase of Markfed and Pungrain in Patti Mandi has been stopped and now Punjab Agro and PUNSUP will procure paddy in this Mandi.
It is pertinent to mention that complaints regarding irregularities in procurement in this grain market were received by the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Mr. Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who ordered to conduct an inquiry. After that a team of department officials was constituted and sent for the inspection. This team found several irregularities in the purchase, such as the Pungrain inspector purchased more than the limit of 25 percent of the purchase. There was no division of commission agent’s shops among different agencies in the grain market. The purchase register was also not maintained.
In this grain market, the said Inspector did not make any purchase from October 22 to October 31, 2018, whereas the lifting of 28,653 bags had been shown. This was later shown collectively as purchase of 1st and 2nd November.
The department has started a campaign against such malpractices since the month of September to stop the bogus billing, in which two lakh bags of paddy were seized from various shellers of Ferozepur in the last week of September. Meanwhile 25 thousand bags of rice were seized in Jalandhar and Moga districts. In October, 15 thousand bags of paddy were seized in Sangrur. Fourteen thousand bags of paddy were seized from trucks on the Shambhu Barrier, which were from other states. In Khanna five thousand bags of paddy were also seized, which were purchased from Bihar at lower price and supposed to be sold in Punjab with the connivance of Arthiyas and Sheller owners.
Food and supplies Minister Mr. Ashu said that the farmers will not face any problem in this market as now only 2,000 MT of paddy arrival is expected.