About 25,000 metric tonnes of onions procured by the Madhya Pradesh government at Rs 8 per kg from farmers after the Mandsaur agitation in which six persons were killed has gone missing.
According to government figures the procuring agency MARKFED procured 8.76 lakh metric tonnes from farmers while the selling agency - Civil Supplies Corporation - got just 8.51 lakh metric tonnes. Where did the rest of the onion valued at around Rs 20 crore vanish no one has any idea.
Documents available with India Today TV show that out of the total onions procured by MARKFED only 8.51 lakh tonnes was passed on to Civil Supplies Corporation.
In Bhopal alone there is no record of about 18,000 quintals of onion for which government paid at the rate of Rs 8 per kg. Bhopal Collector Sudam Khade has already ordered an enquiry.
"There were reports that some stock went missing, or there is no record of some, an enquiry has been ordered and action will be taken only after the enquiry is complete," Sudam Khade, Collector Bhopal, told India Today TV.
At the state level though, no enquiry has been ordered so far. "The figures are still be being collected. The chief minister has already said on the floor of the state Vidhan Sabha that 8.76 lakh tonnes was procured. How much out of this has been given to whom, how much has been sold and how much had to be destroyed is not known yet. After compilation of figures if any anomaly is found action would surely be taken," said Dr Hitesh Vajpayee, Chairman Civil supplies Corporation.
The state government had intervened to procure onion at Rs 8 per Kg from farmers after June 5 when it was selling at as low as Rs 1 per kg in Madhya Pradesh. On Friday Onion was sold at Rs 22 per kg in the Mandsaur mandi.
A large part of the onion that was procured was also allowed to rot in the open and now the government has no answer to how there is a scarcity of onions in the market within just one month of recording a bumper harvest.