Subsidy scam in Agriculture Dept
Close on the heels of the spurious pesticide scam, the Patiala police are probing another scam wherein some private contractors allegedly duped farmers in connivance with soil conservation department officials in the name of granting subsidy for sprinkler irrigation and usurped crores.
They allegedly did not pass the benefit of the centrally sponsored drip irrigation scheme to farmers. A case has been registered against contractor Jasvir Singh of Tradelinks, Sirhind Road, Patiala, and unidentified officials of the department.
Though only the contractor has been named in the FIR, the police are terming it as “the tip of an iceberg” that would expose many officers. “Several farmers have approached the police with complaints that they never received any benefit of the scheme,” said a source.
In a complaint, Jaskaran Sandhu alleged that he wanted a sprinkler system and contractor Jasvir Singh gave an estimate of Rs 48,332 in which he stated that farmer subsidy of 50 per cent was Rs 26,207.
“Later, I came to know that an inflated estimate of Rs 65,000 was made,” he complained. Commissioner (Agriculture) BS Sidhu feigned ignorance and said he would look into the matter. All efforts to contact Agriculture Minister Tota Singh turned futile.