Odisha govt orders Crime Branch probe into Malkangiri crop insurance scam

Loot farmers and get promoted - this seems to be the new criteria for the cooperative bank officials in Odisha to get promotion

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has today ordered Crime Branch (CB) probe into the alleged scam in farmers’ loan and crop insurance and has directed to recover the money from the corrupt officials involved in the scam.

The decision came against the backdrop of a scam unearthed by OTV where it was found that the officials of cooperative banks in four districts of the State under Koraput Central Cooperative (KCC) Bank had looted money by carrying out fake transactions.

Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro today said all the three officers charged with fraud allegations have got promotions.

I have ordered an investigation by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of CB. I have also issued suspension order of the three officials. Besides, show cause notices have been issued to the officials who carried out the promotions

– Surya Narayan Patro

As per reports, in the name of 859 farmers of Kalimela, Sikhapali and Padia LAMPCS some bank officials have looted around Rs 5.25 crore under farmers’ loan and over Rs 1 crore under crop insurance schemes. Kalimela LAMPCS managing director Bidyadhar Pradhan is said to be the brain behind the scam.

As many as 40 officials with charges of fraud have got promotions in the last few years. Besides, eight alleged corrupt assistant managers have been promoted to the post of manager.

“The more you loot farmers the more deserving you become to get promotion in these banks. Honest bank officials, innocent farmers and depositors are suffering due to these corrupt practices,” said Digamber Nayak, general secretary of Odisha Cooperative Workers Association.

OTV had, in its earlier exclusive on paddy scam in Odisha, had found fake transactions in cooperative banks of four districts of the State, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput, under KCC bank. Later on, an audit report also confirmed a fraud of Rs 15, 39, 546 in 2014-15 and Rs 19, 56, 167 in 2015-16.

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