Strict action to be initiated against millers guilty of fictitious billing – Ashu

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21,728 bags of illegally hoarded rice found in Sangrur

Chandigarh, October 6:

Taking a serious note of the repeated attempts by millers to illegally hoard rice for recycling into the current procurement process, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Punjab said, “Despite repeated warnings and appeals, the miscreants have not amended their ways. They have self invited strict action. We are writing to Mandi board as well as Sales Tax Department for action and will also proceed with criminal action against them.”

Earlier in the day, a team of Food and Civil Supplies Department under the Chief Vigilance Officer(CVO) of the department conducted raid at 5 mills in Sangrur and found 21,728 bags of previous years’ rice stored with the intent of circulation them in the ongoing procurement season. Giving details, Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singla, CVO informed that 9325 bags rice were found in Shiva Rice and General Mills , 3852 at Duggan Rice Mill ,1193 at Shree Rama Rice Mills , 2810 at Punjab Paper Board Rice Mills, 1500  in Trishala Food  and 3084 bags of rice at Bansal Agro, Sangrur.

Sharing exclusive input, Dr. Singla informed that to evade the inspecting teams, certain millers have resorted to ‘playing a friendly’ match with each other, by issuing bills to each other to prove that the rice is genuinely purchased from another rice mill, without being able to provide an inherent evidence to support the logic behind such sales/purchases. He said that this is the new modus operandi and added that the Sangrur raids have revealed another hideout( after mill premises, rented godowns and cattle shed) being tapped by millers to hoard illegal stock. “This new hideout is cold storage”, said he and informed that two trucks with 350 bags of rice and 350 bags of ‘kani’ (the name of broken/smaller rice grains in local parlance)were spotted outside a cold storage in Malerkotla but no details were furnished to the team. The probe is on to trace the owner.

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