Scandals continue to plague State Agriculture Department
Only Kashmir | Malik Sajid | 11 Oct 2017
At a time when saffron fields are crying for a drop of water, the top brass in the Agriculture department are preparing for a picnic to Spain at the cost of public exchequer. Those going on the picnic include Altaf Aijaz Andrabi Mission Director National Saffron Mission, who is under scanner for his alleged role of raising his pay illegally. As already reported by a section of media, Andrabi substantively holds the post of Agriculture Assistant carrying a pay scale of 9300-34800 and Grade Pay 4800. But, alleged to have raised his pay illegally to 15600-39000 and Grade Pay 6600 Andrabi is under scanner as the Government has ordered a probe in his suspected pay raise fraud.
However, irony is that the State Agriculture Department has obtained Political clearance in his favour from the Ministry of External Affairs Government of India for his visit to Spain by mentioning his Grade Pay as 8000. Entitled to draw a Grade Pay of 4800 under rules, Andrabi is allegedly drawing Grade Pay of 6600 illegally and now he has been shown to draw a Grade Pay of 8000 in the political clearance papers. Interestingly, the top brass of the department is visiting Spain on a study tour regarding National Saffron Mission which so far is a total failure. The Mission has so far failed to revive the golden crop.
As a matter of fact, the director Agriculture has hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons, illelgally upscaling his own pay, nepotism used to grab the director post and other deceit means.
Pertinently, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development then in opposition Hon’ble Member of Parliament had openly criticised the Saffron Mission in an article titled Mission Saffron: Failed Bureaucratic Committees published in daily Greater Kashmir on July 26, 2012. She had questioned that where will the Rs. 372 crores go? Probably to building a huge Saffron Bhavan (as a memorial !) and to meetings across India – and of course, delegations of bureaucrats to Spain to see how they grow saffron there.