January 30, 2021 4:01:16 am
JOINT TEAMS of CBI and vigilance wing of Food Corporation of India (FCI) Friday conducted surprise checks at 40 godowns in Punjab and Haryana following complaints of irregularities in storage of grains.
“There is no FIR in this connection. It is a preventive measure to rule out any irregularities. The nature of complaints (received) include inadequate storage of grains, damage to the grains,” a CBI spokesperson said.
In its first reaction, the Punjab government said it is watching whether the raids were a part of “hidden agenda”.
The CBI started the operations late Thursday evening with the checks continuing at the time of going to press. The state-agency godowns leased to the FCI in eight of the 13 FCI districts were covered during the joint operation, a government source said. The CBI sleuths checked the quality and quantity of the central-pool foodgrain stocks stored in these godowns.
“They collected samples of wheat and rice pertaining to 2019-20 and 2020-21 procurement seasons,” Punjab Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said.
“Centre is most welcome to run the quality checks but if there was a hidden agenda to teach Punjab a lesson for the state opposing the Centre’s farm laws, we are keeping a watch,” he added.
The raids were conducted at 11 godowns of Punjab State Warehousing Corporation. These include five godowns at Khanna, four at Jagraon, one each at Mansa and Kapurthala. Others include those hired by state agency Pungrain situated at Patti, Fazilka, Ferozepore, Bathinda, Ajitwal and Lehra Gaga.
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