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CBI to register case in Haryana's fungicide scam.

THE CENTRE has finally given its nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) to probe Haryana's infamous fungicide purchase scam. The first information report ( FIR) in the case is likely to be registered during the coming week, sources told M AIL T ODAY . The role of nearly a dozen senior Agriculture Department officers and scientists of the state agriculture university has come under scanner after they recommended a particular fungicide brand -- Raxil 2DS -- to tackle a disease that affect wheat crop, and purchased it causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.

Sources said the authorities have purchased the fungicide at an inflated rate.

The previous Congress government on the basis of recommendation of the scientists of state agriculture university had purchased 1.75 crore pouches of fungicide through a single supplier at inflated prices.

The agency supplied each pouch of fungicide for ` 55, which was more than double of the actual cost. This caused an estimated ` 80 crore loss to the state exchequer.

The scam was unearthed in

March 2013 by senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka while he was serving as the then managing director, Haryana Seed Development Corporation.

He had not only imposed four important conditions as a pre requisite to the fungicide supply and had also objected to the mandatory recommendation to purchase fungicide from a particular supplier.

The then Bhupinder Singh Hooda government had transferred

transferred Khemka in April 2013 and did not take any action against the officials involved in the scam.

Khemka in a letter to the then chief secretary had sought disciplinary action against the officials involved in the purchase.

The agriculture department officials were also accused of misappropriation of central government subsidies as the fungicide recommended by them was not officially approved by the Central Insecticides Board ( CIB) to tackle Karnal Bunt Disease in wheat.

Even the manufacturer of the chemical had also told the court that the fungicide was never tested for Karnal Bunt Disease.

Interestingly, the then agriculture department bosses had even organised a press conference to establish that the fungicide was purchased at lowest market rates and was recommended to control the disease.

The matter had also reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court after Bhiwani- based NGO Bhiwani Sudhar and Vikas Samiti filed a public interest litigation.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had recently recommended a CBI probe into the scam.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 23, 2015
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