Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Being unable to pay the debts of private millers, Odisha State Co-Operative Marketing Federation Ltd. (MARKFED) has put itself into trouble.

Bhubaneswar Commercial Court has ordered the debt-ridden MARKFED to clear the debt of more than Rs 1 crore by selling its property. As a result, the main office of MARKFED at Laxmi Sagar in Bhubaneswar will be auctioned on January 2. Public has already been notified about the forthcoming auction process.

However, as per the Managing Director (MD) of MARKFED, the matter is sub-judice in High Court and following the Court’s verdict, final decision will be taken in this regard. 

As per reports, Tulashi Modern Rice Mill prepared rice from the paddy procured from farmers and sold the product to MARKFED as a custom miller in 2015-16. However, MARKFED did not pay the bill amounting Rs 56 lakh.

Following nonpayment of the bill, the mill filed cases first in the Micro and Small Enterprise Facilitation Council (MSEFC) and later in Bhubaneswar Commercial Court in 2019. Subsequently, in 2021, Bhubaneswar Commercial Court ordered MARKFED to pay the debt with due interest within 30 days.

However, MARKFED did not obey the Court’s order following which the Court issued a notice to auction the MARKFED building.

As per reports, MARKFED’s total amount of debt has reached from Rs 56 lakh to 1 crore 9 lakh along with interest in six years.

“We had a milling deal with MARKFED in 2015-16 and they had to pay us around Rs 56 lakh. We asked them to settle the deal amicably, but they didn’t pay any attention towards our request. Now the Court has ordered them to pay the debt of over Rs 1 crore by selling their property building. Notice has been issued to them in this regard on December 9 and the MD himself has received it,” said Tulashi Modern Rice Mill proprietor Anup Raj Nayak.

Now the question mark is who is responsible for MARKFED’s bankruptcy? Is it the lackadaisical attitude of the officials or any other reasons due to which the debt amount surged from Rs 56 lakh to over Rs 1 crore?

Responding to the situation, MARKFED Managing Director Premchandra Choudhury said the case is sub-judice under High Court.

“A decision in this regard will be taken after the final verdict by the High Court and it has already been appraised to the Commercial Court,” said Choudhury.