MSBEF has demanded an enquiry into alleged corruption and financial irregularities by a senior official at the Agricultural Finance Corporation
The Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation (MSBEF), an umbrella organisation of bank unions, has demanded an enquiry into alleged corruption and financial irregularities by senior officials at the Agricultural Finance Corporation Ltd (AFCL). The union has also asked the government to explore whether AFCL can be merged with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Agricultural Finance Corporation, owned by public sector banks, NABARD and Exim Bank, is a 40-year-old organisation mainly involved in providing consultancy services in the field of agriculture and social sectors.
According to the bank union, senior officials of AFCL are diverting consultancy contracts the entity receives from various government authorities to private firms. AFCL sub-contracted two consultancy projects, together worth Rs41.6 crore, which it had received from the Uttar Pradesh government to a New Delhi-based private consultancy firm, International Traceability Systems (ITS), the union said in a release.
ITS completed one of the projects to prepare a comprehensive agricultural development plan (CADP) in 66 districts of Uttar Pradesh under the 'Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana' (RKVY) in just three months. These reports were submitted without field information and serious study by ITS and AFCL accepted it without any scrutiny. Subsequently the UP government released payment to AFCL, which passed on the same to ITS, the union said.
MSBEF said it is important to note that a major chunk of AFCL's consultancy projects have been outsourced to private parties after AK Garg took over as its managing director. This outsourcing, while AFCL officers are sitting idle, is obviously intended to benefit him by engaging in unethical business practices with private parties, the union alleged.
Mr Garg, while denying the allegations said, "There is some restructuring going on in our organisation since its inception. We are reshuffling work assigned to some people, which may have caused these allegations."
He said, "In the 40-year history of AFCL, for the first time we have earned operating profit for the year that ended on 31 March 2010. The Union government and the ministry of agriculture are highly satisfied with our work and as a result we are receiving more projects. We are also using services of business associates for some projects."
Man Infraconstruction Ltd said it has won three orders from new clients in Mumbai. No financials were provided.
The scope of order work includes construction of office building for investment banker Enam, residential tower for developers Wadhwa Group and Rohan Developers. The execution is expected to be completed within 18 months, said the company in a regulatory filing.
On Tuesday, Man Infraconstruction shares gained 0.9% to Rs364 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.1% to 20,104 points.
Third-party logistics service provider Aqua Logistics Ltd said it won contracts worth Rs110 crore.
The orders are from clients in pharmaceuticals, heavy engineering and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) verticals for outsourcing and managing logistics, the company said in a regulatory filing.
On Tuesday, Aqua Logistics shares climbed 3.9% to Rs628 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.1% to 20,104 points.