Three officials suspended in soil-for-wheat scam

Chandigarh, July 1 (Calcutta Tube) The Punjab government Thursday suspended three officials and charge-sheeted a retired officer in the soil-in-wheat bags scam that hit the state last week.

Officials in the state’s food and supplies department said that three officials in the rank of inspectors were placed under suspension and a retired district manager has been charge-sheeted, after over 700 gunny bags of wheat were found stuffed with loose soil.

The scam came to light after the stock was checked June 25 at warehouses of state-government food grain procurement agency, Punsup in the border district of Ferozepur, 300 km from here, before being sent to other states.

Government sources said that the scam was worth millions of rupees as the officials concerned could have siphoned off hundreds of quintals of wheat by filling the bags with soil.

Food and supplies officials are investigating how long this malpractice had been continuing.

Punjab, which contributes nearly 50 per cent of the total food grain production in the country to the national kitty, had procured over 100 lakh tonnes of wheat this year (April-May).

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