Shimla, Aug 12

Apple growers are suffering in the hands of a number of commission agents in the state as the government admitted in the assembly today that dues tuning to 13 crores 40 lac 43 thousand yet to be recovered from commission agents. These agents have fleed after cheating apple growers.

Replying to a query in the question hours Horticulture Minister Mahinder Singh Thakur informed that as many as 1000 complaints were registered by the affected farmers and others concerned in the matter and FIRs have been registered after finding the commission agents responsible prima facie for cheating the farmers.

As many as 28 FIRs and 311 complaints against commission agents are pending with an SIT investigating the matter. He said that on the demand and the agitation of the orchardists, the state govt has constituted a Special Investigation Team to stop cheating being done by the Commission agents and for the recovery of the dues.

CPIM Legislator Rakesh Singha asked a question regarding the apple payment and action, therefore. ” In 28 FIR investigation revealed that amount tunes to Rs 11 crore 97 lac 33 thousand and 143 were due to the orchardists. Out of this amount Rs 5 crore 63 lac 77 thousand and 720 rupees were recovered and Rs 6 crore 33 lac 55 thousand 423 rupees yet to be recovered.” Minister said.

“There were 311 complaints of apple farmers pending with SIT to investigate and only an amount of Rs 1 crore 26 lac 7thousand 344 could be recovered for while Rs 7 crore 6 lac 88 thousand 373 rupees yet to be recovered out of total amount 8 crores 32 lac 95 thousand and 717 rupees”, he added.

Singha put a supplementary to the minister and asked whether this govt is intending to make this practice [SIT ] permanent as earlier for the forest offenses State had an Enforcement wing for investigating the forest crime.

The police department has sent a proposal to establish three police stations in Shimla, Mandi and Kangra distt each for this purpose and all cheating cases of orchardist and farmers will be investigated by these police stations, he added.


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