NAFED: Ministry denies its role in stalling bailout

The Ministry of Agriculture has denied vehemently its role in holding up the Nafed Package and has called the issue of Minister disliking a particular Nafed leader as a figment of the media imagination. Without wishing to be named a top ministry source said the Nafed package is very much in the process and you will see the results soon.

A murmur of rumours is doing the rounds in the cooperative circle that the Nafed bailout package which was painstakingly pursued by cooperative leaders has gone into cold storage. Informed sources say a middle-level bureaucrat in the agriculture ministry is sitting on the file- a file long cleared by all including the finance ministry.

Ministry sources deny this. “Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh himself was upset at the delay and asked his senior officers to expedite the matter. I am telling you as I was present in the meeting which was held after a query came from PMO”, said the source.

There are genuine concerns regarding future of loan being considered by the govt; it wants to know how can Nafed repay the money. The Ministry has sent the reply to PMO and I can say you with confidence that the bailout would materialize for sure”, he was emphatic.

“The right person to talk about this is Nafed MD Sanjiv Chopra and you can confirm from him that the package is in the process of fructifying”, he underlined.

The rumour of Minister not liking a certain individual who is on Nafed Board is baseless and fictitious, said the official.

It bears recall that a large number of cooperators hold the opinion that it is due to the active participation of this particular leader in Nafed affairs that the bailout package has slowed down.

Sensing the roadblock cooperative leaders met the Prime Minister soon after the Vigyan Bhawan function  with the help from Nafed Vice-Chairman Dileep Sanghani. Others who joined him included Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, V R Patel and Bijender Singh.

Later, talking to Indian Cooperative Sanghani said “The Prime Minister heard us patiently and asked his Private Secretary to look into the matter and report to him.” I am sure, with his intervention the matter would be settled sooner than later, Sanghani underlined.

Meanwhile, in its AGM held last week Nafed is said to have registered a profit to the tune of Rs 150 crore in the financial year. The cooperative is on growth path having got paddy procurement and other jobs from the central government. Its bears recall that in 2015-16, the agri cooperative earned a gross profit of Rs 16 crore.


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