Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (File Photo)
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (File Photo)

Harsimrat Kaur Badal seeks probe into intra-State seed scam

ANI | Updated: May 30, 2020 00:32 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 30 (ANI): Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has urged Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh to depute a central team to Punjab to conduct an impartial probe into the intra-State seed scam.
She also recommended suitable action to save farmers, who have been duped by being sold spurious breeder seeds of paddy at three times of their cost. She has also urged that the case be forwarded to the CBI for a thorough probe.
"The scam involved the private sale of spurious PR-129 and PR-129 paddy seed varieties of the Punjab Agriculture University, (PAU) Ludhiana, which is yet to be approved for commercial sale by private players," she said in a statement.
"PAU had supplied a very small quantity of the seeds to farmers in May 2020 at the rate of Rs 70 per kg but unscrupulous elements multiplied it illegally in October 2019 and sold truckloads of the spurious seed to unsuspecting farmers at the rate of Rs 200 per kg," said Badal.
She has informed the Agriculture Minister that the seeds had not been supplied earlier to any seed grower and that the Punjab Seed Certification Authority had not registered any seed grower for verified seeds of PR-128 and PR-129.
"The seed is only likely to be available to seed growers for propagation in the paddy season of 2021-22, only after which will it be available with private seed suppliers for sale," said the Union Minister.
The Union Minister said that despite registration of an FIR by the State Agriculture Department and seizure of spurious seeds of both paddy varieties from Brar Seed Store in Ludhiana on May 11 following a complaint by farmers no follow up action was taken in the case.
"There is every danger that vital evidence which could incriminate the real king-pins in this multi-crore Seed scam could be wiped out. Only a central inquiry by your department as well as a CBI inquiry can unearth the entire conspiracy to cheat farmers at a time when they are working amidst a pandemic to provide food to the nation", Badal added. (ANI)

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