Rs 1k crore scam in rice procurement unearthed

Rs 1k crore scam in rice procurement unearthed

The ruling Congress-led Telangana government of Rs 1,000 crore paddy lifting and rice procurement scam.

The opposition demands that Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and civil supplies minister Uttam Kumar Reddy to clear themselves of the allegations. He challenged them to initiate a judicial inquiry with a sitting judge.

The Opposition accused CM Revanth Reddy and minister Uttam Kumar Reddy of being implicated in the scam in the civil supply department. The Congress party just followed the foot steps of the previous government schme looted the government exchequer.

Tthe civil supplies department, under the supervision of Uttam Kumar Reddy and Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, awarded tenders to four companies to lift paddy from rice millers in the state. It is alleged that both the Chief Minister and the minister constituted a committee, issuing guidelines, and calling for tenders — all on January 25 itself.

Why did the government show urgency in fulfilling electoral promises, but it swiftly allegedly has been awarded these tenders dubiously in one day with jet speed. Is the Congress government looting public funds in the name of global tenders for 35 lakh metric tons of paddy ?

While the local rice millers were ready to purchase the same paddy for Rs 2,100 per quintal, but the government sold it at prices ranging from Rs 1,885 to 2,007 per quintal to companies like Kendriya Bhandar, LG Industries, Hindustan Company, and NACAF, who secured the tenders by quoting lower rates.

These four companies alleged to have blackmailed the local rice millers, demanding Rs 2,230 per quintal, which is Rs 200 more than their tendered rates, leading to Rs 800 crore scam. According to the tender agreement, these companies had no right to demand money instead of paddy from the rice millers.

These companies failed to lift the paddy within the stipulated 90-day period, which ended on May 23, and they sought an extension from the government, which seems under the positive consideration of the Govt of Telangana. The government is trying to extend the period to fleece more money from the millers instead of taking action against the companies for violating tender conditions.

The people of Telangana demand that the government release a white paper detailing how much paddy had been lifted and take calls to address the allegations of money collection from millers instead of paddy.

The government should not maintain its silence on this multi-crore scam for over two weeks. It is not understood as to why the government framed the same policy for the tendering fine and raw paddy at the same price.

It has become a debatable question as to why the government is purchasing fine rice at Rs 15 more per kilogram than the market price. Is also surprising to note that the BRS government, under KCR, had introduced fine rice for school and hostel students as a humane initiative by following the same modus operandi.

The Congress government is following the footsteps of the previous government and the opposition BRS restrained itself to allege that the Government is exploiting the scheme. 

Even today, new fine rice with 10 percent broken rice is priced at around Rs 42 per kilogram in the market, while the government is paying Rs 57 per kilogram to companies.

The same four companies involved in the dubious paddy lifting tenders were also awarded tenders for buying fine rice, raising public doubts. These companies quoted the nearly same rate in tenders, blatantly rigging the process.

The erstwhile government used procured paddy for fine rice supply, securing better quality fine rice at just Rs 35 per kilogram. The government under Revanth Reddy and Uttam Kumar Reddy is engaging in a Rs 300 crore scam in fine rice procurement by procuring 2.20 lakh metric tons. The immediate cancellation of tender awarding letters for fine rice procurement from these shady companies.

The BJP and its leaders failed to show their commitment by involving central agencies and the FCI to investigate this scam. The FCI always monitors paddy procurement and minimum support price transactions as per the Food Security Act. The central government’s silence also raised suspicions of collusion with the Congress government in this paddy scam.

Indeed the issue can be resolved by seeking a review by the  judicial intervention. The Congress and BJP fail to clarify their respective roles in this thousand-crore paddy and fine rice scam.