An upbeat Biscomaun chairman Sunil Kumar Singh who is also the Vice-Chairman of Nafed said with clean accounts and a plethora of optimistic business proposals in the works, the cooperative behemoth would only grow and grow further. He was reacting to Nafed settling all its dues of lender banks out of its own pocket with the Central govt standing as a guarantor. Sunil was part of the negotiating team.
It is a personal victory for me as I was a witness to Nafed paying its dues to the lending banks that removed a blot from Bihar’s fair name, said Sunil referring obliquely to the role of another Bihari- former Chairman of Nafed late Ajit Singh whose tenure saw Nafed tie up with shady businessmen thereby putting its very survival at stake.
Ajit Singh, people say, lost his life due to the tragic Nafed episode as he had been misled by some elements into indulging in massive financial irregularities. During his last days, Ajit Singh was running from pillar to post to repair the situation but to no avail, recall his friends.
The 1800 crore loan that Nafed took became Rs 3000 crore and the cooperative behemoth almost faced closure before the NDA govt took interest and initiated moves in the direction of its revival. Despite being an avowed Congressman its former Chairman Vijender Singh lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his positive outlook, as described in these columns in the past.
The role of Dileep Sanghani and the role of those who cleverly made Sanghani the Vice-Chairman in Nafed also deserve a mention. Astute politicians the duo of Chandra Pal and Bijender are -made Sanghani the face of Nafed owing to his proximity to the Prime Minister. And Sanghani did not flip the script on them and talked the Nafed matter with Narendra Modi over not once but many times.
The ice began to thaw as the ministry officials started to think seriously as how to revive the cooperative federation. Nafed soon began getting procurement orders from the government and also started earning profits in the process. Today the settlement of dues made from Nafed’s own earnings plus mortgaging a property of Delhi has rendered the issue of revival package irrelevant!
There are indications that Nafed is likely to be tipped to take over the mid-day-meal across states. Indian Army is also considering hiring Nafed’s services for its canteen, informed a buoyed up Sunil Singh. There is also a proposal from the Chhattisgarh govt for procurement of grains by Nafed on its behalf which would help the cooperative earn Rs 180 crore, said the Vice-Chairman.
Sunil said Nafed serves the farmers in the country by implementing the MSP of Govt of India for Oilseeds, Pulses, Copra & Cotton. In the last three years, it has made record procurement of Oilseeds & Pulses at MSP under PSS. Further, it has been the major agency procuring around 90% of the buffer target of pulses, he added.
Biscomaun Chairman who was one of the first to break the news of Nafed settling its dues also thanked Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture Minister for his role in helping Nafed and lending banks resolve their standoff. “Radhababu has helped every Bihari overcome this stigma and I thank him for this”, said Sunil pointing out to the Nafed scam.