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Probe graft in cashew import: Ramesh Chennithala.

Date: 07-05-2019
Subject: Probe graft in cashew import: Ramesh Chennithala
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has demanded a probe  into the loss incurred on the import of cashew  by the cashew board. He said corruption is rampant after the formation of cashew board and hence a comprehensive probe is needed. The board was formed for envisaging cashew import to the state. 

"A loss of Rs 20.60 crore has been incurred in the last two imports made by the cashew board. There is corruption behind these imports. It is learnt that heavy loss was incurred since substandard cashew was imported from a company which offered more commission,'' alleged Chennithala. 

"When the first import was made by the cashew board there was serious allegation of corruption and it was raised in the assembly. However, the government gave a clean chit to minister J Mercykutty using vigilance. Heavy losses have been incurred on the second round of import also," he said. 

The LDF  government had come to power promising to reopen all cashew factories and ensuring job protection for the workers. However, instead of taking steps to increase the domestic production, the government is now importing substandard cashew at a very higher rate. This has put the cashew industry in the state in a deep disarray, said the opposition leader. 

In 2017, the opposition had come out with an allegation against the husband of minister J Mercykutty in the export of cashew. The allegation was that the minister and her husband were involved in striking a deal with a firm to buy cashews at an inflated price rejecting bids that were far more reasonable. However, the vigilance probe which looked into the allegation gave a clean chit to the minister. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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