Former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia has accused the state government of committing serious irregularities in crop sampling in 2016, allegedly to benefit private insurance firms. While addressing the media on Sunday, he sought inquiry into the case by a commission, headed by a sitting High Court judge, followed by filing of corruption cases against ministers and government officials concerned.
Modhwadia has also demanded immediate blacklisting of firms involved in the irregularities. He said the government in 2016 had awarded one KDM Enterprises the work of crop sampling. Crop loss estimates and payment of insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, introduced in 2016, are based on the sampling. “Against Rs 22,000 crore paid toward premium, companies cleared only Rs 6,000 crore claims, leaving insurance firm enriched by Rs 16,000 crore,” he said.
Modhwadia also alleged that no government notification was issued for payment of the premium. “The government staff was inadequate for crop sampling, as a result a private firm, KDM Enterprises, was given the contract. The estimate for checking 55,844 crop samples was Rs 8 crore but the tender was passed for Rs 14.56 crore, which needs investigation. The firm issued appointment letters to hire people for the sampling, but only on paper. It showed that the time consumed in the work was (just) eight days,” he added.