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Thursday, October 21, 2021

IAS officer Khemka points out anomalies in Kharif procurement in Haryana: bogus registrations, price as per eye estimation

As administrative secretary, Khemka is incharge of Nuh and has written to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other senior officers of the state government seeking remedial measures.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: October 12, 2021 6:32:30 pm
Labourers pack paddy grains in bags at Anaj Mandi in Ambala, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Representative image. (PTI Photo)

Amid ongoing procurement of Kharif crops, senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka has pointed out “bogus registrations” for bajra in Meri Fasal Mera Byora portal and several other anomalies in Haryana’s Nuh district.

As administrative secretary, Khemka is incharge of Nuh and has written to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other senior officers of the state government seeking remedial measures.

“I visited the Mandis of Nuh, Ferozepur Jhirka and Tauru in district Nuh on October 1. Some bogus registrations for bajra in the MFMB portal were detected during ground verification. This was due to expectations of government purchase of bajra at MSP,” Khemka wrote.

Pointing out the price variation merely on the basis of “eye estimation”, Khemka added, “The average rate of PUSA Basmati-1509 variety was hovering between Rs 2800-2900. However, one particular lot was sold for Rs 1700. The reason given was that the lot contained large proportion of unripe grains as per eye estimation. However, the quality is not measured and recorded that may explain the price difference. The large price variation without grading of the produce is prone to misuse by vested interests. Bajra was traded between Rs 1250-1300. However, one lot was sold at Rs 1800 and another at Rs 900. The large difference was explained due to differences in quality. But the quality is judged by eye estimation. No grading of the lots was being done by the Market Committee”.

The IASD officer further pointed out that the e-NAM trading was non-existent. “The auction was done manually and the details entered manually into the e-NAM portal. The analyst was ignorant of e-NAM trading or grading of produce,” he wrote.

Khemka also recommended that under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937, the national standards for bajra are notified, considering quality factors like moisture, foreign matter, other food grains, admixture of different varieties, damaged grains, immature grains, and shrivelled grains. “Bajra is graded into four types, taking into account the maximum level of tolerance for each of the factors. Grading is done using MAAT machines. Instead of being Luddites, the Marketing Board should progress with the use of e-NAM quality-based trading. A unified market of farmers’ produce will ensure best value of farmers’ produce. Buyers must be allowed to register in e-NAM, independent of registration in APMC Mandis. Farmers will realize better value of their produce with increasing buyers. Inter-state/ unified registration of buyers may be allowed in the e-NAM portal,” he added.

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