Millers siphoned off Rs 11 crore of rice in Nizamabad

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A few rice millers turned defaulters and diverted the rice to open markets.

Nizamabad: Subsidized rice worth of Rs 11 crore was misappropriated in Nizamabad district.

A few rice millers turned defaulters and diverted the rice to open markets. Around nine millers in the district have been facing criminal cases for misappropriation of rice. Surprisingly, no government employee was made responsible for the misappropriation of rice meant for public distribution system (PDS).

To ensure minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers, government agencies like self-help groups of Indira Kranthi Patham and primary agriculture cooperative societies had procured paddy. The paddy is being shifted to rice mills for rice production and milling charges will be paid to the millers for the activity. Entire activity is being monitored by civil supplies department and Telangana state civil supplies corporation.

In this context, a few millers misappropriated the custom milling rice (CMR) for their vested interests. Civil supplies employees failed to monitor the milling process and safety of the stock. As a result, a few millers diverted the government stock into open market and turned defaulters. Around nine millers in Nizamabad district have thus defaulted in handing over 4,300 Metric Tonnes (MTs) rice worth of Rs 11 crore.

Civil supplies officials filed criminal cases against the defaulting millers under Section 406 of the IPC. Millers have also approa-ched the Court. Allegedly, a few millers also brought tremendous pressure on officials to delay the rice misappropriation cases. Citing crisis in rice mill industry, they defended the diversion of subsidy rice.

When contacted, civil supplies corporation, district manager, R. Jayadev Singh said that of 1.35 lakh MTs of rice, they have received 1.34 lakh MTs (99.40 per cent) so far. “We are waiting for 735 MTs of rice from eight millers in Nizamabad, Bodhan and Kamareddy divisions,” he explained. Replying to a question, he said that assets of errant millers will be seized under the Revenue Recovery (RR) Act.

As per agreement, the millers should hand over rice to the civil supplies department within a fortnight. Some of them diverted the government stock to other districts and states to sell out the rice. For last few years, a section of millers have been using the government stock for their personal needs. Allegedly, a section of union leaders are lobbying with the state government to protect the defaulters.

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