KOCHI: After unearthing a major financial fraud committed by an auctioneer, the Spices Board has urged the cardamom growers to report discrepancies, if any, in payment related to cardamom sold through auctions.
In an official statement, the Spices Board said the farmers who have not received the payments from the auctioneers, even after the due date, are requested to inform the board in writing with proof of sale so the appropriate action is taken in this regard.
The Cardamom (Licensing and Marketing) Amendment Rules 2014 stipulates the auctioneer shall pay the growers, whose cardamom is pooled, the applicable sale value of the cardamom sold in an auction within 10 days from the date of the auction. However, various reports have pointed to the possibility of delays, beyond the mandated period, in making payments to the cardamom growers and the board has decided to invoke the bank guarantee of auctioneers if there is a default in farmers' payments.
It was couple of days ago that the Spices Board approached the Kerala Police seeking a probe to unearth a fraud committed by an auction firm which forged documents and manipulated the conduct of auctions. According to the police, a case (crime no-537/18) has been registered and a detailed probe is on to collect the details of the auction firm identified as Cardamom Growers forever Pvt Ltd, earlier Cardamom Growers Federation, which conducted auction from 2014.
It was to open up the marketing system of small cardamom growers that the Spices Board introduced e-auction and granted licence to private players to conduct the auctions. The licence was granted to Cardamom Growers Federation for the block years 2014-17.