Haryana, from last many years, has been experiencing multiple frauds and scams related to the state government's bureaucracy, and big and small private corporations. Some of the publicised scams include those related to land, teachers’ recruitment, and food grains. The moong seed scam is yet another fraud-complaint brought forward, which exposes the inefficiencies of those who are considered to be making a better Haryana.
According to news reports, in March 2013, 7,200 quintals of moong seeds were purchased by the Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC) at a lower price of Rs. 8,100 per quintal than was quoted by government agencies, without following proper administrative protocol for procurement, and distributed in May, which is late since the sowing season of moong seeds is between February and March, due to which seeds and public money were wasted. It was alleged that the entire operation happened due to the negligence of the then managing director of HSDC, IAS Officer Ashok Khemka and his bureaucratic officers. As per Khemka’s reply to the allegation, buying the seeds at lower cost by “floating a short-term tender” saved the government Rs. 30 lakh. The scam is currently under investigation and enquiry is being conducted by committees formed by the state’s agriculture department.
Scams and frauds have rendered an ugly side of bureaucracy and governance. Their root causes are usually negligence of officials, greed of certain individuals, and lack of transparency in the system. With the media becoming stronger than ever and the Right to Information (RTI) Act being used for revealing bureaucratic and administrative reports, such cons that were well hidden inside dusty folders and files of large government offices are coming out. The moong seed scam, in a similar way, was brought to the notice of the government officials by the Agriculture Secretary of the state, who are now not only looking into the matter, but also finding other frauds in the seed corporation.
The need of the present times is to find ways to make the governing system free from scams and frauds. There is a requirement for anti-fraud/scam laws in Haryana that will not only make the workings of the administration transparent, but also increase the accountability of each transaction and every officer, from the lowest to the highest levels. The public distribution, purchase and sale, and fund granting systems should be carefully monitored at every level of their processes, so that such scams and frauds, like the moong seed scam, are contained even before their occurring.
Scams, like moong seeds’ purchase and distribution, and land allocations, ultimately affect the poor and downtrodden people of Haryana. Most of the time, they get the raw end of the deal. The moong seeds that could have brought about crop diversification, higher crop yield, and eventually better earning for the Haryana farmers, are now sitting in the godowns rotting and wasted. If only the concerned officials would have procured and distributed the seeds in time, the state would have had one less scam to worry about.