“Asks Centre to make promised CBI report public if it is ready”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Brinda Karat has sought to know from the Centre the progress of its promised CBI probe into the alleged corrupt practices by Dow Chemical in bribing Indian officials to sell the pesticide dursban produced by it here.
In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Ms. Karat cited Mr. Pawar's assurance in the Rajya Sabha regarding the probe and wanted the Centre to make public the report, if it was ready.
She said the bribe report came to light following revelations made in the United States Security Exchange, where Dow Chemical had to pay a fine, according to U.S. law, for bribing Indian officials, and demanded criminal action against those involved and the blacklisting of the company.
‘No action taken'
After Ms. Karat raised the issue on May 4, 2007, Mr. Pawar promised a CBI probe and said a year later that the Ministry was yet to get the report.
“It is now three years since then. Has the CBI report been received? It is strange indeed that although Dow has had to pay a fine in the United States for corrupt practices indulged in within India, the Government of India has still not taken any action either against the Indian officials, or more importantly, the company itself,” Ms. Karat said in the letter.
The matter, she added, was all the more important because it concerned the sale of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which has been banned in the U.S. because of its harmful effects on children.
Ms. Karat said that in India, the Plant Protection Adviser constituted a committee that recommended that the use of chlorpyrifos could continue, but with strict monitoring. She asked Mr. Pawar if the Centre had put in place such monitoring or collected data as advised by it.
“In view of the corrupt practices revealed, has the government considered a review of the entire process of recommendation that the insecticide could be used in India?” she said, reiterating that action should be taken against the company and the government officials involved.