CPIM complains to CAG over Gumma carton factory machinery sale

Shimla: The sale of machinery of Agro Packaging Industries (AIPIL) at Gumma in Kotkhai in Himachal Pradesh is becoming embarrassing for the state government with the state unit of the CPI(M) taking this issue with the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG).

Addressing media person in Shimla yesterday, Tikender Panwar, state vice president of Himachal Kisan Sabha said the machinery at the plant was sold at a ridiculously low price for Rs. 1.08 crore against a reserve price of Rs. 28.33 crore. He said the then Himachal government conceived this project as a social business model in public sector to introduce and promote modern and green technology for the benefit of apple orchardists. But after the closure of the factory and the decision of the present BJP government to dispose it off resulted in open loot by private manufacturers of corrugated cartons who hand in glove with the BJP leaders of the state charged exorbitantly for apple cartons whilst the present state government remained a mute spectator.

He said, “The contentious issue before us is the illegal sale of sophisticated plant and machinery assets of Agro Industrial Packaging India Ltd. at a ridiculously low price to a scrap dealer from Nagpur for Rs. 1.08 crore whereas as per the government tender documents reserve price for the same plant machinery was fixed at Rs. 28.33 crore.”

He urged the CAG to intervene in this matter by holding and independent audit inquiry immediately in the interest of the farmers of Himachal Pradesh and punish those responsible for the scam.

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