Mumbai, Nov 20 (UNI) BJP leader Dr Kirit Somayya has moved the Bombay High Court, seeking immediate withdrawal of red wheat, imported by the Union Agriculture Ministry, and an inquiry into the 'Import scam'.
A public interest litigation on the issue is expected to come up for hearing this Thursday.
Dr Somayya has alleged in the PIL that, the Union Agriculture Ministry's malafide decision to import red wheat had cost the public exchequer dearly, with additional burden of more than Rs 4000 crore and those at the helm of the affairs have benefitted from the import.
Casting suspicion over seachange in the wheat production scenario in the country from a wheat exporting country to an importing one, the petition states that between 2001 and 2005 India had exported 12.4 million tonnes of wheat, but suddenly during 2006 the Union Government found shortage of wheat and decided to import it. Since February 2006 68 lakh tonnes of wheat have been imported, he said.
The alleged rotten wheat was imported at the rate of Rs 16 to 18 a Kg whereas in India good quality wheat was being procured at the rate of Rs 6 to 8 a Kg, Dr Somayya stated in the petition. This, according to him has cost the public exchequer more than Rs 4000 crore.
Ironically, no quality checks have been made by the Food Corporation of India on the imported wheat, the BJP leader has alleged in his petition, adding that most of the samples sent to Government labs in Maharashtra had been found completely unfit for human consumption.