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Dairy Farmers in Puducherry have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary and Chief Vigilance Officer, Rajeev Verma, seeking a detailed probe into the continuous selection of a particular firm to supply fodder to milk producers.

In a memorandum signed by dairy farmers residing in 20 constituencies of the Union Territory, the dairy farmers have also asked Chief Secretary to adopt the Direct Beneficiary Transfer mode instead of supplying fodder under the subsidy scheme.

For a long time, the Animal Husbandry Department has been providing subsidised fodder to farmers as a measure to boost milk production in UT. Since the inception of the scheme, the same firm gets tender to supply the cattle feed, the farmers said.

“Whether it is a Congress or All India N R Congress government or when these parties are in power with their alliance partners, the same firm gets the contract to supply fodder. The cattle feed supplied by the firm is not available in the open market raising questions on the quality of feed supplied. The percentage of nutrition present in the fodder is not made available to the farmers,” the memorandum said.

The order given to the same firm, petitioners said raised several questions on the tendering process followed by the Animal Husbandry Department. The farmers have alleged that politicians and officials are huge beneficiaries of awarding the contract to the same firm.

They have requested the Chief Secretary to order a probe into allocation of tender to the same agency for years. The government should adopt DBT mode to disburse the subsidy amount, the farmers said.

The farmers have also urged the Chief Secretary to probe spending of around ₹2 crore in the scheme to provide subsidy for buying milch cows. Alleging corruption in the scheme, the petitioners said the beneficiaries are linked to people close to the power centres. Farmers have not benefited from the scheme, they added.

Source : The Hindu Aug 12th 2023

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