PACS ex-secretary pockets Rs 2 crore crop loan in Odisha

Farmers and women SHGs, who never took loan, have surprisingly found their names in the list of beneficiaries.

Published: 24th August 2019 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2019 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: AT a time when farmers across the State are running from pillar to post to get agriculture loans, a former secretary of Nuadihi Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) in nexus with a former cooperative branch manager allegedly misappropriated around Rs two crore meant for crop loan in 2017-18. Farmers and women SHGs, who never took loan, have surprisingly found their names in the list of beneficiaries.

The members of the PACS alleged that former secretary of Nuadihi PACS Tirtha Sampad Gochhayat, in connivance with the former manager of Erasama branch of Central Cooperative Bank, has siphoned off Rs two crore without any record. Gochhayat even opened three accounts in the name of his father, brother and himself at the branch and Rs 37 lakh was deposited in these accounts in August 2018 by misappropriating loan amount of thousands of farmers, said Pramod Kumar Mishra, a member of PACS.

This apart, Gochhayat had issued more than one Kisan Credit Cards to some farmers. One farmer availed four cards and managed to get loan four times while a board member has taken loan six times. Another member has availed three crop loans. Some unscrupulous directors have also grabbed huge amount of loan without making repayment, the PACS members alleged. Similarly, funds meant for Joint Liability Group (JLG) of women SHGs have been misappropriated. They alleged that while Rs one lakh each was sanctioned in favour of 84 JLGs in 2017- 18, they have received only Rs 50,000 each.

The rest amount has been misappropriated by Gochhayat. The PACS has 116 JLGs of women SHGs, said Jai Hanuman JLG president Laxmipriya Mishra. During inquiry, it was also found that cost of fertiliser to the tune Rs 4.37 lakh has not been paid to Balikuda branch of Odisha State Co-Operative Marketing Federation (MARKFED).

The new branch manager of Erasama cooperative bank in January had asked the secretary to deposit the amount, but to no avail. Nuadihi PACS president Jayant Kumar Biswal said Gochhayat was suspended from his post in January following the alleged corrupt practices.

“We have sought the intervention of higher authorities of Cooperation department, cooperative bank, district administration and Erasama police for a fair probe into the matter,” he added. Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra on Thursday said the district administration has sought the intervention of higher authorities of Cooperation department to conduct a Crime Branch or Vigilance probe to unearth the scam.

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