Large-scale corruption unearthed in ASAMB during Congress rule
From our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, May 29: While all the State Government undertaking Corporations and Boards are functioning at huge loss only due to alleged large-scale corruption at the behest of the leaders of the Congress Government in connivance with a section of corrupt officials and employees, the Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board (ASAMB) is also not an exception. A section of the officials of the ASAMB, with the blessings of a certain powerful lobby during the Congress rule, has reportedly misappropriated a large amount of money amounting to several crores from the different authorized check gates and the BG yards in Guwahati, Jorhat, Tinisukia and Sangsari which has come to light recently.
According to information, the Boxirhat check gate under the ASAMB in Dhuburi district had collected an amount of Rs, 2, 96, 14,877.00 from the month of February of 2015 to May 2015 as collection of cess. But with the joining of the new Chief Executive Officer of the ASAMB on February 1, the same check gate has earned an amount of Rs. 5, 57, 89,190.00 as the cess collected from the goods truck which is a clear indication that the same check gate following the strict supervision and monitoring of the newly joined CEO has earned an additiol amount of Rs 2, 61, 74, 313.00.
Immediately after taking charge, CEO of ASAMB, Padma th Das while taking a serious note of the ongoing practice of corruption and irregularities, had ordered for a departmental inquiry in which some sensatiol information came to light. Though the CEO Padma th Das is reluctant to reveal it before the media, however, according to the source during the period from March 2012 to March of 2014, the targeted cess to be collected in the BG yard at Jorhat was Rs.5, 53,47,491 as per the information of the Railways. On the contrary, the ASAMB collected only Rs. 2, 19, 43, 235, thereby creating a loss of Rs. 3, 34, 04, 256, not only to the ASAMB but also to the State exchequer. Similarly, according to the Railways, the cess to be collected by the ASAMB at the BG Yard at Tinisukia for the period of April to July of 2014 was Rs. 23, 15, 904 but official collection of cess was only Rs. 4, 53,636 which had resulted in the loss of Rs. 18, 62,268 within four months only. On the other hand, the cess to be collected in the month of August to October of 2015 was 6,52,130 but the official collection of cess was Rs. 1, 64, 789 with loss of Rs. 4,94,341.
Significantly, the ASAMB, following the order passed by the Supreme Court of India, has directed the secretaries of all the Regulated Market Committees of the State to collect the cess from all the traders, but the Secretary of Guwahati Sub Division Market Committee reportedly failed to collect the cess from the wheat unloaded at BG Yard Guwahati and Changsari which has caused huge fincial loss to the ASDAMB. According to information, from 2014 till date 81,960 metric tonne wheat was unloaded at Changsari BG Yard and the targeted collection of cess was Rs, 1,22,94,000 but the actual collection of cess was Rs. 11, 14,823 only, which is at the difference of 1,11,79,177. According to the report submitted by Assistant Marketing Inspector Trailokya Saikia, a total amount of 29,280 metric tonne wheat was unloaded in BG Yard in Guwahati and the targeted cess to be collected was Rs 43,92,000 but the actual collection of the cess was Rs.1,56,081, with the difference of Rs. 42,35,919.
Meanwhile, the CEO of ASAMB has taken up strict discipliry measures for the smooth functioning of the Board and has taken up the initiative to form mobile and static vigilance, sudden visits and to place six Marketing Inspectors and two Accountants under suspension for negligence of duty. At the same time, with the intention to motivate the dedicated officials, the ASAMB few days back had felicitated Marketing Inspector Hiranya Sarma-the in-charge of the Boxirhat Check gate in Dhuburi for his role in increasing the collection of cess. In view of the reported irregularities and corruption in the BG yards of the State in the me of collection of cess, the conscious circles have demanded the newly-formed government in the State to institute a high-level inquiry into it.