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IAS officer faces 3rd probe, this time for molasses sale

July 15, 2018 05:08 AM


IAS officer faces 3rd probe, this time for molasses sale


Punjab cadre IAS officer Mohinder Pal Arora is in trouble again as the state government has started third inquiry against him in the 2013 case when functioning as Sugarfed managing director he is alleged to have committed ‘serious procedural lapse’. He had allegedly allowed sale of 91,498 quintals molasses without floating tenders. Sugarcane molasses, a byproduct generated during sugar production, is mainly used in distilleries.

As per the complaint filed by Sugarfed chairman against Arora, 1.20 lakh quintal molasses of Ajnala, Batala and Nawanshahr cooperative sugar mills was sold to Astha Trading Company in March 2013, as per the PSU’s finance committee’s decision. Nevertheless, the company failed to lift 91,498 quintals of molasses sold to it despite three extensions of total four months in time for lifting molasses. However, instead of selling the balance quantity of molasses through tender, then Sugarfed MD Arora sold it to different companies at “arbitrary rates without any tender”.

The personnel department has now sought comments from the Sugarfed on Arora’s reply to the show cause notice issued to him for proceedings under the All India Service Rules.

It has come out during the departmental inquiry that molasses was to be lifted within 45 days from the issue of the sale order failing which a sum of Rs 2 per quintal per week up to four weeks was to be charged. If the private firm did not lift the molasses during this period, then Sugarfed was free to sell the un-lifted quantity at the risk and cost of the parties.

However, going against the norms, the inquiry has found, Arora gave extensions to the firm from timeto-time.

Replying to the show cause notice issued by the government, Arora has submitted “he was very much within his right to grant extension of time and no financial loss appears to have been caused by the decision”.

He has submitted that he had granted extensions to the firm with a view to sell molasses at higher rate as per the March tender even in October since with the passage of time quality of molasses deteriorates and fetches less price.

Earlier this month, chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh had recommended to chief minister Amarinder Singh to issue chargesheet to Arora in a case of allegedly allowing former IAS officer S K Ahluwalia illegal use of residential property for commercial purpose in Patiala.

In another case, the state government has started the disciplinary proceedings against Arora in gunny bag purchase scam worth around Rs 2.38 crore during the previous SAD-BJP government between 2012 and 2014

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