Skip to main content

Pesticide scam exposed by Khemka to be probed

Parliamentary committee’s recommendation a shot in the arm for Haryana IAS officer

Ashok Khemka
Ashok Khemka
In a rare act, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has come to whistleblower Ashok Khemka’s support, ordering a Central government inquiry into the pesticide scam that the Haryana IAS officer uncovered.

The committee also stood by the views of the IAS officer in another scam — in the purchase of seeds — again highlighted by Mr. Khemka. The Haryana government continues to battle against this.
The Hindu accessed the 61st report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee. It has ordered that an inquiry be held to investigate the “propriety and legality of the agriculture department of Haryana spending the Centre’s money on RAXIL, a specific brand of Bayer Crop Science India, for unapproved treatment.”
It said the investigation must find out if there was any “propriety and legality in the action of Bayer Crop Science India publishing the recommendations of some State agricultural universities in its advertisements where RAXIL’s effectiveness in treating Karnal Bunt diseases in wheat crop is claimed.”
The committee also asked for an investigation to ascertain why Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University recommended Bayer’s branded pesticide for Karnal Bunt diseases.
The committee’s intervention comes as a shot in the arm for the beleaguered IAS officer, who has been shunted out and chargesheeted several times after he first raised an alarm about land deals involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and subsequently about alleged scams in the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation Limited, where he had been posted.
The matter is before the High Court, with the State government, having shunted out Mr. Khemka yet again, defended its decisions on the controversial purchase of pesticides and seeds.
Mr. Khemka has been chargesheeted in several alleged violations of Haryana service rules.
The parliamentary panel, while reviewing the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, was petitioned by Mr. Khemka in which he alleged that Central government subsidies and funds had been embezzled and wasted by Haryana government officials in the purchase of seeds and illegal pesticides in connivance with private companies.
The panel, headed by Basudev Acharia of the CPI(M) and having members from across the political spectrum from both Houses, called for evidence even as the Union Agriculture Ministry came out in Mr. Khemka’s favour.
Based on the evidence gathered through testimony, the standing committee took a final position in favour of Mr. Khemka.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…