June 18, 2024

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Maharashtra co-operative fraud: How co-op sugar mills become private properties

As the Jarandeshwar Sugar Co-operative Mill in Satara district failed to repay its instalment of financial loan, the Maharashtra State Co-operative Lender (MSCB) auctioned it for ₹65.seventy five crore in 2010.

Expert Commodity Services Pvt. Ltd, a culture with a turnover of ₹63 lakh, purchased the mill in the auction, claims Shalinitai Patil who the moment headed the mill. Patil claims that the precise price tag of the mill, the land and other assets is at the very least ₹2,000 crore. She alleges that there was a “conspiracy” to grab the mill and its land.

Read also: How politicians are pocketing sugar mills and their broad lands

Spouse of previous Maharashtra Main Minister Vasantdada Patil, Shalinitai was the moment acknowledged as a feisty politician in the State. For a temporary interval, she was with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Social gathering (NCP) and also served as a Member of the State Legislature (MLA). But her political job went offtrack right after she locked horns with the Pawar loved ones.

In July 2021, the Enforcement Directorate attached the houses together with land, making and framework, and plant and machinery of Jarandeshwar Mill. The ED is probing the overall case below the provisions of the Prevention of Cash Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

Cash issues

Investigations done below the PMLA unveiled that MSCB organized an auction of Jarandeshwar at an undervalued price tag and devoid of subsequent because of procedure.

Expert Commodity Services purchased the mill and immediately leased it to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd. Curiously, Sparkling Soil Pvt. Ltd holds the majority of shares of Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd.

ED investigations unveiled that Sparkling Soil is associated to Maharashtra Deputy Main Minister Ajit Pawar and his wife Sunetra Pawar. Curiously, when the mill was auctioned by MSCB, Ajit Pawar was on the Board of MSCB.

The ED, in its note, stated that investigations further more unveiled that although Expert Commodity Services (a dummy business) was employed to get the sugar mill, it was in fact controlled and operate by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills.

“Further, the mill has been employed as a car or truck by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills for acquiring a financial loan to the tune of ₹700 crore from Pune District Central Co-operative Lender and some others from the 12 months 2010 until day. As a result, the assets held in the identify of Expert Commodity Services (leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.) in the variety of land, making and framework, plant and machinery of Jarandeshwar, being proceeds of criminal offense, the similar has been provisionally attached below PMLA,” the ED stated in its note.

 

‘All leaders hand in glove’

Adhering to the ED probe into Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill, BJP State Unit President Chandrakant Patil dashed off a letter to House Minister Amit Shah demanding an ED probe into the sale of other thirty co-operative sugar mills. On the other hand, two of these thirty factories had been purchased by firms associated to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. In 2013, social activist Medha Patkar had alleged that two mills had been supplied to Gadkari-associated firms at a throwaway price tag.

Speaking to reporters just lately, Deputy Main Minister Ajit Pawar denied any wrongdoing. He reported: “There have been numerous probes in the earlier into this affair by businesses these types of as the State CID, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Economic Offences Wing, but nothing arrived of them.” He added that he was being specific by the BJP-led authorities at the Centre.

BJP leaders, together with State President Patil and previous Main Minister Devendra Fadnavis, have jumped into action to protect Gadkari. Patil advised reporters that he had only quoted the list of mills submitted to the Bombay Large Court when a writ petition was submitted, and already Gadkari had clarified that he compensated a much larger sum for the factories than the price tag made a decision by the bank.

“However, he (Gadkari) himself has reported that he is open to any probe,” Patil claimed.

“All bash leaders are functioning hand in glove. They start off co-operative mills with the aid of the State’s concessions and subsidies and then gradually transform these mills into non-public houses. Politicos have invented the formal system to grab community money and land,” reported farmer Babasaheb Savat.

Element 1 of the collection: How politicians are pocketing sugar mills and their broad lands

Element 3 of the collection: Maharashtra co-operative fraud: Endgame for co-operative sugar factories?

(This is the 2nd of a a few-component collection)