New Delhi: Amid controversy over IFFCO gifting its top executive prime properties in South Delhi, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Monday said his Ministry cannot take action against the fertiliser cooperative as the government does not have any equity in it.
"The Agriculture Ministry has no right to interfere in the IFFCO's decision making as we don't have any equity in it. It (transfer of prime properties to top executives of IFFCO) is the decision taken by the IFFCO Board and we have no role to play," Pawar told PTI.
It is the sole decision of the IFFCO Board if it wants to give incentive to top executives for their contribution to the cooperative's growth, he added.
The controversy began after the Registrar and Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) of South-West Delhi filed a complaint with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the transfer of a 1,000-square yard property in Hauz Khas locality by IFFCO to its Managing Director U S Awasthi in January this year.
Pawar further said: "There is no question of taking action against it because recently we have amended the cooperative Act. As per new the Constitutional amendment, the government has no power to interfere unless there is equity or government has financial interest."
Asked if IFFCO is not bound by moral obligation as it grew to this heights in business due to initial funding by the government, Pawar said, "IFFCO has returned everything. Suppose, I take money from bank. Bank is not going to dictate for whole life even after repaying the dues."
Meanwhile, the CVC is also looking into the issue of plush accommodation in South Delhi being gifted by IFFCO to its Managing Director U S Awasthi and his deputy Rakesh Kapur.
The Department of Fertilisers is seeking to bring multi state cooperatives IFFCO and KRIBCHO under the preview of CVC.
The IFFCO Board last month has decided to put to vote the issue of government move to bring it under the purview of CVC at its shareholders meet in May.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) is managed by a board which is elected by 40,000 cooperative societies spread across the country. PTI