CID should probe wheat smuggling to Bangladesh: West Bengal minister

Topics West Bengal | Bangladesh

Farmers use a combined harvester in a wheat field | Photo: PTI

West Bengal minister Jyotipriya

Mullick has said the CID should investigate alleged wheat smuggling to Bangladesh through the state's border areas.

A total of 175 wheat-loaded trucks with Food Corporation of India tags were recently impounded by customs and police officials.

"There were 195 trucks but 20 trucks succeeded to slip through the borders and 175 trucks were caught. We will recommend the state government to get this investigated by the CID," Mullick, the food and supply minister said late on Friday.

"This is a big scam that has been taking place for quite some time now. In the recent past, wheat from Haryana and Punjab was illegally exported by some traders from West Bengal," he alleged.

Personnel of Basirhat Police and customs officials had impounded the trucks at Ghojadanga land port in North 24 Parganas, with the wheat packed in gunny bags bearing FCI tags suspected to be meant for public distribution.

Another rake with 2,200 tonnes of wheat in similar packaging was also stopped at Ranaghat. The entire consignment is estimated to be around 6,700 tonnes, an official said.

The development has irked exporters, who have refuted the allegations, insisting that customs authorities were "harassing" them, despite producing valid documents.

"The wheat that was seized was packed in second-hand FCI bags, which are openly sold in the market after first use," an exporter claimed.

Police and customs officials, however, maintain that documentation on the part of the traders were insufficient.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel