The state government has transferred director (marketing) of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) S D Mane, within three months of his appointment. He was appointed to the post in March.
Mane had days ago decided to dissolve the APMC board in Mumbai over allegations of a scam of Rs 180 crore.
On Tuesday, the state government posted Mane as joint managing director of the Maharashtra Cooperative Development Corporation (MCDC) in Pune. His transfer order signed by Kavita Parkar, joint secretary, department of cooperative, marketing and handlooms mentions Mane has to join the post with immediate effect.
The government has not named anyone to take Mane’s place as APMC director (marketing). Other than being member secretary of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), the APMC director (marketing) is entrusted with over 300 APMCs in the state. Also, license to operate retail outlets is given by the office of the director.
Senior officers of the directorate of marketing, speaking to Newsline on the condition of anonymity, said how Mane had taken several steps to streamline the functioning of APMC. His decision to suspend the board of directors of New Mumbai APMC was stayed by the State Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil. Patil would take the final decision later this month.
Mane had taken several measures that benefited farmers but adversely affected the porters’ unions. Officials said his decision to go for audit of APMC and strict action against defaulters ruffled political feathers. Talks are on that additional charge of director marketing will be given to an IAS officer soon.
Meanwhile, Raghunath Patil, who leads a farmers organisation, said they would oppose the transfer.
“Mane’s decision was in favour of farmers and he stopped corruption in APMC. The decision to transfer him is unfortunate,” he said.
Patil said that he would meet the agriculture minister and the minister for cooperatives Harshavardhan Patil on Wednesday before deciding further course of action.