KMSS alleges tractor fraud

Bhasco De Saikia speaks in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by Manash Das

Guwahati: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Saturday alleged that the state government was inflating the prices of tractors to be offered at subsidised rates to farmers under the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana.

The scheme, which was launched in 2016-17 with an allocation of Rs 30,000 crore, aims to provide 26,000 tractors at subsidised rates in 26,000 villages. To avail a tractor, a farmer has to pay 10 per cent of the total price while the state government will provide 70 per cent and another 20 per cent given by the bank as agricultural loan.

KMSS president Bhasco De Saikia alleged the price of one tractor model was Rs 2,66,088 more than the market price while another tractor priced at Rs 5,83,094, costs Rs 7,74,480 under the scheme.

On the difference of prices in the government e-market portal and the prices under the scheme, Saikia said, “In case of Sonalika tractor, the difference in price is Rs 1,68,989, while in case of ACE, it is Rs 2,51,822. For the Eicher model, the difference is Rs 2,27,068 while for Tafe it is Rs 1,28,412 and for Swaraj it is 2,66,088. If the government provides tractors at these prices, the farmers will have to shell out a huge amount and around Rs 650 crore will be misappropriated. The huge difference in prices proves the officials are looking to get a commission from the tractor companies.”

He said the contract has been given to a firm which was blacklisted by the National Company Law Tribunal in September last year. Earlier it was mentioned that the farmers could repair their tractors at the local dealer of the particular company. But agriculture minister Atul Bora on November 29, 2017, in a letter to his chief secretary said only one institutional dealer will now deliver and carry out servicing of tractors under the scheme, Saikia alleged.

Manash Pratim Dutta Telegraph India

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