Probe ordered into anomalies in Fishery Department: Minister
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 12: Corruption was rampant in the State Fishery Department during the Congress regime. It comes to light now as misdeeds in the department are being unfolded now. According to State Fishery Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya, for no rhymes or reason, the department had remitted lakhs of rupees to the lessees of as many as 12 beels, violating the stating rules. An inquiry has been ordered in this connection.
BJP MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya brought it to the notice of the Minister during the Question Hour today that the actual fishermen were deprived of benefits that were being availed by some fake ones. Bhattacharya said that there were allegations against Assam Fishery Development Corporation (AFDC). “The actual fishermen are deprived of their benefits. In their mes, others avail the benefits,” he said.
In his reply, Shuklabaidya said: “Such corruptions have already come to the notice of the government. The origil lease values of as many as 12 beels were reduced illegally, remitting Rs 95.45 lakh in 2015-16. The files of such remission of lease money have been seized by the department. Investigation is going on. When the investigation is over, the responsibility will be fixed. We’re worried over such incidents. It will be seen that no such incidents recur in the future.”
Piyush Hazarika then said: “The Haribhanga Beel in gaon district was leased out to the fourth highest bidder, instead of the first highest bidder. How come such an incident happens? AFDC has as many as 184 beels under it. While taking part in biddings, a participant has to produce a certificate stating that he is a fisherman. However, such certificates are being used by other people. And such incidents happen because the lease values are very high which poor fishermen can’t afford.”