Rs 150-cr scam surfaces in Punjab Agriculture Dept; Kuldeep Dhaliwal orders vigilance probe

By Jasleen Kaur -- August 18, 2022 11:43 am -- Updated:August 18, 2022 11:43 am

Mohali, August 18: Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal has recommended a Vigilance probe into a scam of Rs 150 crore that has surfaced in the purchase of agricultural machinery in Punjab. There is no record of about 11,275 machines purchased in the state in three years, for which a subsidy of Rs 1,178 crore was received from the Central Government.

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As per Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal, there is evidence of the scam in the departmental investigation. Following this, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has also come under the government radar. Besides being the CM, the charge of the Ministry of Agriculture was with Captain Amarinder Singh then.

Captain Amarinder Singh Captain Amarinder Singh

Kuldeep Dhaliwal said, "It was the responsibility of Captain Amarinder Singh to ensure that the machines are properly allocated."

The case in detail
In Punjab, 90,422 machines were distributed to farmers during 2018-19 to 2021-22. The  Centre had released subsidy for the purchase of the machines for agricultural work. After the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in the state, the Agriculture Minister got the physical audit of the machines conducted.

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Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal

However, no record of machines was found in three districts. Moreover, the complete record of who were allotted the machines in some districts could not be found. At least 13 per cent of the machines were found missing. The minister has now handed over the investigation to the Vigilance.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Dhaliwal said the government would recover Rs 150 crore and the accused would be brought to book.

-PTC News

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