Odisha: BJP demands probe into 86 cr Khadi Board scam

Odisha: BJP demands probe into 86 cr Khadi Board scam

File photo for representation

Opposition BJP on Saturday alleged that a major scam involving Rs 86 crore had taken place in the Odisha Khadi and Gramodyog Board (OKGB) and demanded an impartial probe into it.

The demand was raised by Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP in the Assembly.

"There has been a major scam in the OKGB. The organisation gets financial assistance for the development of Khadi and Village Industries Commission," Naik said.

He claimed that the Board had approved fake quotations mentioning the price of each beehive kit as Rs 30,000, though the actual cost of each beehive kit was Rs 1,000 only.

A total of 2,400 beehive kits were distributed to 480 beekeepers, the BJP member said.

The OKGB, under the MSME department, in a statement on May 20 last year had said 1,200 beekeepers were trained by the Board and 480 of them got the kits.

Stating that the OKGB had received Rs 86 crore from both the state government and the Centre's Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) between 2014 and 2017, Naik claimed, "The public money has been misappropriated by the Board's chief and some dishonest officials."

Citing a written reply of then MSME Minister Prafulla Samal in Assembly on July 15, 2017, he said the OKGB had received Rs 39.94 crore from the state government and Rs 46.28 crore from the KVIC in three financial years from 2014 to 2017.

Naik also alleged that there had been corruption in the name of imparting training to beekeepers.

"False bills were prepared in the name of fake bee farmers," he claimed and added that crores of rupees have been misappropriated in the name of some "benami" advertisement agencies and consultancy companies.

During the three financial years between 2014 and 2017, the OKGB had undertaken the business of only Rs 3.58 crore towards the sale of Khadi dress and clothes, Naik said.

The BJP member urged Speaker S N Patro to instruct the minister concerned to make a statement on the issue on the OKGB scam and order an impartial probe into the matter.

Naik also alleged that the state-run boards and corporations have become rehabilitation centres for the ruling party leaders.