IFS Officer Among 16 Booked in Horticulture Department Scam Probe

Bhopal: A senior IFS officer and 15 others, including officials of deputy director level and private individuals have been booked for their alleged role in a scam related to the horticulture department. The complaint was filed by a special police establishment.

In their complaint the SPE stated the officers allegedly violated norms of the direct-benefit-transfer (DBT) scheme. The CMO for investigating the matter has constitutes a special committee, headed by an additional chief secretary (ACS)-rank officer, to look into the laxity in implementation of DBT after corruption cases surfaced.

An officer on requests on not being named said- “It’s vendors whose writ runs in some departments. There is a strong nexus that works with officers, fulfilling all their requirements. None of them wants DBT to be implemented.”

An initiative by the centre, DBT transfers subsidies directly to beneficiaries’ bank to end delays and checks corruption.

It should be recalled that the farm mechanization scam, which hit the state’s horticulture department, started with an order that declared Madhya Pradesh Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd (MP AGRO) the nodal agency for execution of all state and central schemes for farmers. The order, issued on June 25, 2019, was an attempt to transfer subsidies into the account of select companies instead of farmers which not only was the DBT scheme bypassed, but issued huge amounts of funds in advance to MP AGRO in defiance of the Finance Act.

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