Chairmen of the public sector cashew factories have challenged V.D. Satheesan, MLA, for an open debate on the issue of corruption against the new director board of the public sector Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Cooperative Society (Capex) in a recent purchase of raw nuts alleged by the latter in the Assembly.
At a joint press conference here on Wednesday, Capex chairman A. Sudhevan and Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) chairman S. Jayamohan said that Mr. Satheesan’s allegations exposed the fact that the latter had vested interests behind raising the allegations.
Mr. Jayamohan alleged he suspected whether Mr. Satheesan’s allegation was part of a desperate exercise to protect those who were facing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in connection with the corrupt dealings of the KSCDC in the past.
Mr. Satheesan’s main allegation was that the Capex failed to award a raw cashew supply contract to the lowest bidder in one of the latest tenders and instead later awarded it to another bidder.
Mr. Sudhevan clarified by stating that raw cashew from the same origin was supplied to KSCDC three days prior to the bid in question for Rs.142.25 a kg.
When Capex opened the tender, the price for the same cashew in the lowest bid was quoted Rs.154 a kg. If the bid was accepted, Capex would stand to lose Rs.58.75 lakh for the same raw nuts vis-a-vis the price paid by the KSCDC.
To avoid this, the traditional tender system was replaced by the e-tender system.
Mr. Sudhevan said that through the new system Capex was able to settle the deal for supply of 500 tonnes of raw cashew at the rate of Rs.149.75 a kg.
“Mr. Satheesan appears to be in the dark on this aspect.”
Mr. Jayamohan said that after the LDF government came to power, 75 days of continuous work was provided to cashew workers by the public sector factories.
There was enough cashew stock for another 15 days and the aim was to provide a record 100 days of continuous work to these workers. This was creating heartburns in a section of the private sector engaged in cashew processing exploiting the workers.
The fact that the KSCDC and Capex had also made moves to purchase raw nuts directly from the exporting countries had frustrated a private sector lobby engaged in the business of raw nut supply.
Capex chairman A. Sudhevan and KSCDC chairman S. Jayamohan allege vested interests behind allegations
Say Satheesan’s charges a bid to protect those facing probe in connection with corruption in KSCDC in the past
‘MLA’s allegation is a desperate exercise to protect those facing corruption charges in the KSCDC.’