TAMIL NADU

PMK alleges corruption in power tillers purchase

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss on Sunday alleged that corruption to the tune of Rs. 38 crore had taken place in the purchase of Chinese power tillers for farmers in the State this year.

Addressing reporters here, Dr. Ramadoss claimed that farmers of the State were being compelled to buy China-made power tillers by Agricultural Department officials. The officials had reportedly told the farmers that subsidy would be given only on purchase of Chinese power tillers and not for those manufactured by Indian companies.

Two firms — one of them based in Tiruchi and the other in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, — had been importing the Chinese equipment and selling them to farmers. Although the cost of the Chinese power tillers was fixed at Rs. 1.56 lakh and Rs. 1.61 lakh , their market price was only Rs. 46,000, Dr. Ramadoss said.

The power tillers were being sold to farmers at very high price ranging from Rs 1.1 lakh to Rs. 1.15 lakh per equipment. Corruption to the tune of Rs. 38 crore had taken place in the purchase of Chinese tillers, he alleged.

The Chinese power tillers were of inferior quality and unsuitable for farmlands in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Ramadoss said, adding that farmers of the State had been buying power tillers manufactured by two Indian companies all these years.

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