Odisha Man arrested for misappropriating Rs 6 cr subsidy in agricultural equipment

Balasore: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch has arrested one Srinath Rana from his residence in Balasore Sadar police station area for misappropriating Government subsidy amounting to Rs 6 crore in agricultural equipment.

A case has been registered under Sections 409, 420, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC r.w Section 66, 66 (C) and 66 (D) of IT Act, 2000. He was later produced before Bhubaneswar of SDJM court today.

The EOW began investigation of this case by taking over a case registered on January 20, 2021 registered with Bharatpur police on the basis of a complaint filed by KG Sree Charan, Director of Varushapriya Agrotech Pvt. Ltd,  Bangalore. The Bangalore-based company having its branch office at Baramunda here deals with supply of rice transplanters to farmers across the country and also delivers services and supplies to Odisha Government under various subsidized schemes.

The complainant alleged that the accused misappropriated subsidy amount of Rs 5 crore and thereby cheated the Government as well as the petitioner by fraudulently using the company’s login ID.

Srinath, who worked as a Regional Manager in the company between 2018 and 2020, was authorised to register the sale of machineries in the state and facilitate subsidies to the beneficiaries by accessing the Agriculture Department’s website www.agrisnetodisha.ori.nic.in using the login credentials meant exclusively for the company.

During investigation, it was revealed that Srinath, who also runs an automobile agency in Balasore, in connivance with others had fraudulently uploaded details of over 500 paddy transplanters with fake engine and chassis numbers and photos with names of equal numbers of farmers covering 18 districts on the website between 2017 and 2021. Against this, he managed to get release of about Rs 6 crore subsidy amount in favour of the beneficiaries.

Soon after release of the subsidy amounts in the beneficiaries’ accounts, the accused managed to lure the beneficiaries by giving them some token amount and siphoned off the subsidy amount.

While cost of each paddy transplanter ranged between Rs 2.33 lakh and Rs 3 lakh and against each machinery, Govt was releasing Rs 93,320- Rs 1.50 lakh subsidy amount.

Further investigation is underway, said the EOW.

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