Judicial inquiry ordered into loan waiver irregularities

Nearly Rs 30 lakh is feared to have been misappropriated

A judicial inquiry has been ordered into alleged irregularities in the implementation of a loan and interest waiver scheme meant for weavers, Co-operation Minister B J Puttaswamy said here on Monday.

Addressing the media, he said the government had received several complaints of irregularities in the implementation of the scheme and that about Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh was feared to have been misappropriated.

Several people who had not obtained any loan and a few who were not even weavers allegedly claimed benefits under the scheme, he said.

Justifying the judicial probe, he said there were complaints of the involvement of several senior officials’ involvement and that it was paramount to find the modus operandi to prevent such irregularities in future.

Stating that around 1,000 tonnes of milk powder produced by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) was wasted in godowns, Puttaswamy blamed the Centre’s policy to allow import of milk powder for the same.

“The demand for local powder has been severely affected due to this policy and KMF, among other co-operatives in the country, had borne the consequences. However, with the Centre re-imposing the ban on import of the product, demand for our products is going up slowly,” he said.

He clarified that the absence of KMF chairperson Gali Somashekara Reddy, who has been arrested by the CBI’s Andhra Pradesh unit for his alleged involvement in the bribe-for-bail episode, will not affect the functioning of KMF.

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