The Indian national Trade Union Congress (INTUC)-affiliated Kerala Cashew Workers Congress (KCWC) has alleged corruption of over Rs.8 crore behind the January 7 purchase of 11,000 tons of raw nuts from Tanzania by the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC).

The purchase was carried out through two agents. The price was $1,760 a ton. On the same day, another deal for purchase of 5,000 tons of raw nut from Mozambique was fixed at the rate of $15,00 a ton, KCWC leader K.R.V. Sahajan said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

The price of raw nut is based on its ‘count and outturn.' (The count is the number of raw nuts per kg and the outturn is the quantity of kernels obtained from every 80 kg bag of raw nuts after processing). While both origins showed the same count, the outturn showed only a small difference, he said.

The loss

The price of nuts from Tanzania should have been $1,591.84 a ton. A rate of $1,790 was fixed. The difference worked out to Rs.8.41 crore, Mr. Sahajan said.

The KCWC had incurred a loss on Rs.1.27 crore in kernel sales during November 1 and 2, he said.

This was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Cashew P.K. Gurudasan, Mr. Sahajan said adding that the INTUC had sought more information about the kernel deal under the Right to Information Act. The KSCDC had stated that the information could not be provided as it would adversely affect the business prospects of the corporation, he said. An appeal is pending.

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