Andhra Pradesh

Four MPEOs suspended over misappropriation of seeds

Vigilance and Enforcement Regional Officer G. Ramanjaneyulu interacting with farmers at Uravakonda on Tuesday.

Vigilance and Enforcement Regional Officer G. Ramanjaneyulu interacting with farmers at Uravakonda on Tuesday.  

1,012 bags of groundnut seeds diverted exploiting a technical glitch

Four Multi-Purpose Extension Officers of Uravakonda in Anantapur district have been suspended for their alleged role in diversion of 1,012 bags of subsidised groundnut seeds. The distribution agency given by Oilfed to Narasimhulu at Uravakonda has also been blacklisted.

Joint Director of Agriculture Habib Basha identified the lacunae in the distribution system when a large number of farmers (about 300) were seen queuing up at the distribution centre, while the records showed only 50 were left out. While the Uravakonda mandal was distributed 3,700 quintals of groundnut seeds, about 381 farmers’ numbers were found duplicated at the distribution centre, taking advantage of some artificially created technical snag by the dealer at the godown.

As per the procedure, a farmer gives his thumb impression and an OTP and OTP ID is generated in the farmer’s phone, but due to some snag, if the OTP is deleted or not received, a hand-written OTP is given by entering his name in the system again and the MPEO at the distribution point is supposed to cross-check if the farmer has taken the subsidised seeds. But that was not done, the Joint Director Agriculture told The Hindu.

Probe

With the help of Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer G. Ramanjaneyulu, the official checked the entire process and found diversion of 1,012 bags either to traders or farmers in Uravakonda.

The subsidy amount thus misused amounts to ₹8.62 lakh.

The officials said the release of subsidy amount would be stopped to the dealer.

A deeper probe would be launched to find out if the advantage was taken by the farmers or traders and the involvement of the MPEOs and the dealer.

So far, 20 cases have been registered under 6A of Seeds Control Act by the Agriculture Department and in one case in Vidapanakal, where 720 bags were found in traders’ houses, criminal cases were registered against three persons and they were sent to judicial custody.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:12:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/four-mpeos-suspended-over-misappropriation-of-seeds/article28692931.ece

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