Omfed scam: OTV unearths more details

Bhubaneswar: After ruling-BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout alleged irregularities in Omfed to the tune Rs 30 crores, OTV today carried out an investigation to ascertain the legitimacy of the allegations.

After Rout’s allegations, OTV found that not only the ex-minister but also the former Managing Director of Omfed, Madhusudan Padhi had also urged the then Chief Secretary for a high-level probe into the irregularities.

In a five-page complaint report, a copy of which is in possession of OTV, corruption to the tune of Rs 24.2 crore is mentioned.

As per the report, Omfed used to buy polythene packets for packaging of milk at Rs 193.16 per kg from a Gujarat based company IDMC, but it suddenly stopped procuring them after August 2015.

However later, the milk processor tied up with a Cuttack-based company Kamala Agency for supply of the polythene at the rate of Rs 237.83 per kg, thereby paying Rs 44.67 per kg more for the polythene.

After investigation it was found that the polythene was actually being procured from IDMC and the on-paper tie-up with Cuttack-based Kamala Agency was only a medium to misappropriate the extra funds.

What is more shocking is that even as the allegations surfaced during the tenure of senior IAS officer and current SRC, Bishnupad Sethi, he was transferred and posted as secretary of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry department. As per Rout’s statements, Sethi tried to find an escape route from Vigilance probe ordered into the scam. He (Sethi) also wrote to Omfed saying that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a departmental enquiry and not Vigilance probe into the incident. (A copy of which is also with OTV)

What is still unclear is the fact that under whose influence the directions were issued for a departmental inquiry instead of a Vigilance probe.

When asked about the matter, Sethi, who is now the SRC, refrained from commenting.