GOLAGHAT: At a time when the Government of India has taken various schemes for the economic development of farmers, the Tea Board of India has allegedly been involved in huge anomalies in supply of materials to the small tea growers of Assam.
In Golaghat district it has come to light that the Tea Board of India was involved in misappropriation of a large amount of money meant for supply of materials to small tea growers belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community. The government has been providing financial assistance to SC tea growers for purchasing spray machines and plucking machines under the Scheduled Caste Tea Development scheme. But a section of dishonest officials of the Tea Board of India allegedly deprived the poor farmers and was involved in corruption.
In this context, an FIR was lodged at the office of the Superintendent of Police of Golaghat by the beneficiaries against the Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director of Tea Board of India, located in Guwahati, for the large-scale anomalies in implementation of the Scheduled Caste Tea Development Scheme for the year 218-19. As per allegation, the officials tactfully pocketed the money in the name of providing financial assistance to the poor tea growers. As per norms, the small tea growers have to submit bill-vouchers of materials purchased to the authority concerned and after that the authority should release the amount to the beneficiaries. But the authority concerned did not do so. The corrupt officials tactfully collected three blank cheques from each beneficiary. Further, an amount of Rs. 78,000 to Rs 86,000 was deposited in the beneficiary’s bank account and interestingly, within half an hour the deposited amount was transferred to one Assam Agency.
Further, the victim beneficiaries also alleged that they were provided one spray machine and a plucking machine whose maximum market price was not more than Rs 30,000. The officials collected more than 50 per cent of rupees from each beneficiary. They appealed to the government and district administration to investigate the matter and to take stringent action against the officials who involved in the huge financial anomalies.