THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Coir Marketing Consortium (KCMC), a company proposed to be set up under the state government to create market for coir products, has been found spending crores even before its incorporation.
Though the incorporation expenses for the proposed company were limited at `10 lakh, till date it has spent crores on foreign tours of three officials and Coir Minister Adoor Prakash.
As per the information made available under the RTI Act, KCMC has recived budgetory allocation for `6.70 crore during 2009-10 to 2012-13.
In the financial year 2009-10, the Consortium received `2 crore as budget allocation.
The entire amout was found to be withdrawn by K R Anil, Special officer KCMC, who is also the Director of the National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI). ‘Express’ had recently reported that NCRMI was operating the treasury account (TPA/ 252) of CDOCT, a now defunct charitable society, allegedly to park the leftover funds of NCRMI.
“I have no idea of us having such an account. We have two accounts, one at SBI Kudappanakunnu and another at the Statue branch,” Anil said.
The information provided under the RTI Act shows that KCMC had received `2 crore as budget allocation in 2009-10. Of this, `15 lakh was spent on “various activities of the KCMC.” An amount of `7.60 lakh was spent for attending the Annual conference of International Erosion Control Association, Florida, USA.
During the fiscal of 2010-11, the Consortium received (amount sanctioned to Special Officer KCMC) `2 crore as budget allocation. During this period it has been stated that an amount of `1,43,85,344 was spent for developing and establishing a marketing and supply chain system.
An amount of `13.54 lakh was spent on advertisements alone. The money spent on “field visit, data collection, international exhibition at Alappuzha has been put at `20 lakh.
During the 2011- 12 fiscal, though `4 crore was allocated first, it was later trimmed to `2 crore. Of this amount, `12.14 lakh was found to be spent under a head, co-ordianation expense of the India Sourcing fair, Johannesburg, South Africa.
For “various other activities” in ths same fiscal `1,76,01,747 was found to have been spent, according to the information made available under the RTI Act. The Consortium was allocated `1.30 crore during the 2012-13 fiscal and spent `70 lakh for attending various international exhibitions.
All these echibitions were represented by a delegation comprising Coir Minister Adoor Prakash, Coir Secretary Rani George, Coir Development Director K Madanan and Special Officer K R Anil.
The foreign trips undertaken by the minister and officials had recently figured in the Assembly discussions