Bareilly: A bunch of government officials in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly got together with some agents, bought tons of urad dal or lentils from the local mandi at a price lower than the minimum support price (MSP), fudged the records and hoped to take home the difference. But their plan was spoiled when the chief development officer (CDO) asked officials to go through the sale documents before releasing the payment of over Rs 2 crore.
The government has filed a First Information Report or an FIR against four officials of the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Federation and two middlemen for misappropriating funds and fudging the records.
"When we carried out an inquiry, we found that none of these farmers existed. We have suspended the district manager of the local cooperative federation and will take necessary action against everybody involved in the fraud," said Satyendra Singh, chief development officer of Bareilly.
The federation was supposed to buy lentils from the farmers at the MSP. However, instead of buying the crop from farmers in the district, these officials went to the local mandi, conspired with middlemen and reportedly procured about 12,000 quintals of urad dal at Rs 3,600 per quintal. The minimum support price for the urad dal was fixed at Rs 5,400 per quintal by the state government.
After that, they allegedly entered 527 fake farmers in their records and sent the bill for approval. They even drew up a list of bank account numbers, forged signatures and submitted the file for verification. They had planned to pocket the difference of Rs 1,800 per 100 kg.
Senior officers in the state government say that the officials took advantage of lack of awareness among farmers and plenty of produce available in the market at a cheaper price.