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Vidarbha body for CBI probe into implementation of relief package

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 15:58

Nagpur: An organisation from Vidarbha,
the hot-bed of farmer suicides, has demanded CBI probe into
alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Prime
Minister`s relief package for the region as pointed out in a
recent CAG report.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in a damning
report has come out with serious allegations of corruption in
the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister`s relief packages
amounting to Rs 5,000 crore, disbursed to West Vidarbha in
2005-2006 to stop cotton farmers from committing suicides.

The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) has sent a
fresh complaint to the Prime Minister urging him to order a
CBI probe into the alleged irregularities, Samiti President
Kishore Tiwari said in a press release today.

The package involved distribution of two milch animals
to each affected family. The government agreed to bear 75 per
cent of the purchase cost, while the beneficiaries had to
arrange for the remaining amount. A rider that the animals
could not be sold for at least 3 years and had to be produced
at the time of verification was put in place.

A scrutiny of status reports in Akola, Amravati and
Yavatmal by the CAG in March 2010, however, revealed that 385
of the 10,210 animals distributed under the package were not
available with the beneficiaries. These had either been sold
(473) or were not in the beneficiary`s possession (1,867)
at the time of verification; 509 other animals had died.

The CAG observed that despite the release of subsidy,
objectives behind the package could not be achieved. The state
animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries department,
which was to oversee the scheme`s implementation, has been
blamed for "poor monitoring" and institutional weakness in
Similar discrepancies were also observed in an
independent package announced by then CMO in February 2006.
The CM had sanctioned a package of Rs 30 crore, which also
dealt with 75 per cent subsidy in purchase of two large milch
animals or 10 sheep and a goat. Even in this case, reports in
the three districts revealed that nearly 37 per cent of the
6,090 animals were not available with the farmers.

While 517 had been sold, 1266 were untraceable, and
466 were reported dead.

Tiwari quoting CAG report said the department is yet
to reply on the action taken against the beneficiaries.

It also raised the issue of irregularities and excess
payment of compensation to farmers affected by bird flu in
2006. An audit note has been raised on non-payment of
compensation for destroyed eggs as announced.

If the Prime Minister failed to order a CBI probe even
after the CAG report, the Samiti will move the High Court to
seek justice to three million dying Vidarbha farmers`,Tiwari,
added in the release.


First Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 15:58
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