IAS officer removed as Deptt inquiries Comm, kept APO

 
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Jaipur, May 2 (UNI) With the Rajasthan government directing Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Ashish Bahuguna to inquire the alleged multi-crore scam in implementation of National Horticulture Mission in the state, senior IAS officer R S Gathala, who had levelled the allegation of the scam, was removed from post of Department Inquiries Commissioner and kept awaiting posting order (APO).

Mr Gathla, who worked as Horticulture Secretary for about one year till March last year, was issued the orders late last night.

The officer had alleged that during his tenure in Horticulture Department, he had found a scam to the tune of several crore of rupees in payment of subsidy to farmers for pesticides, seeds, and fountain irrigation facility for their nurseries.

Mr Gathala said the records showed that huge payments were made to farmers but actually these were bogus entries as payments did not reach to them.

He said that he had ordered social audit and revenue inquiry but he was transferred from the post and since then no inquiry was conducted.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini has refuted Mr Garthala's allegations and written a letter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to order a probe into his allegations.

The Minister has also urged appropriate action against Mr Gathala for his ''misconduct''.

However, talking to UNI yesterday Mr Gathala reiterated his stand and said that the matter should be probed.

The National Horticulture Mission is being run in 17 districts of the state. Under the mission the Centre provides 75 per cent subsidy for purchase of pesticides, seed and fountain irrigation system while 25 per cent share is to be contributed by the farmers.

UNI SS SK RAI/HT1407

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