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Sarpanches make a fast buck through tractor scheme in TS

Sarpanches make a fast buck through tractor scheme in TS
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The rule that each Gram Panchayat (GP) should purchase one tractor has become an opportunity to some of the sarpanches to make money by taking bribes from the companies.

Hyderabad: The rule that each Gram Panchayat (GP) should purchase one tractor has become an opportunity to some of the sarpanches to make money by taking bribes from the companies.

The competition between the tractor manufacturing companies gave a chance to the sarpanches to make money out of the purchase of tractors.

Tractor making firms have been sending their agents to the sarpanches to 'convince' them to purchase their models.

Officials of Panchayat Raj department said they have received reports that few sarpanches have been taking commission to change the purchase orders. The issue has been taken to the notice of the collectors.

The government issued an order to the panchayats to purchase one tractor to each village to dispose the garbage, to supply water and for earth works.

According to the rules, the GPs should hold Gram Sabhas and adopt a resolution in this regard.

A committee under the chairmanship of the collector would decide the price of the tractor.

The GPs have to purchase engine, trolly, tanker and leveler as per the price fixed by the committee. This costs about Rs 10 lakh.

The major panchayats have been told to purchase higher capacity engines. The GPs could enter into agreement with the companies directly to purchase the tractor.

With this, the tractor company salesmen have been luring the sarpanches with the bribes to purchase their tractors.

According to sources, the companies are offering Rs 50,000 as commission to sarpanches to purchase their model.

The major panchayats which have funds with them have been purchasing the tractors and the minor panchayats which do not have enough money have been waiting for the financial support of the government.

The GPs which do not have enough funds have been told to purchase the tractors in instalments.

The sarpanches, who have enough money with their GPs have been purchasing the tractors in a single instalment. They have been given commission by the companies for purchasing their tractor.

As there was no need to specify the model in the resolution being adopted by the GPs, the sarpanches have found a way to make money. They have been changing the model in favour

of a company which offered commission.

As the issue has reached to the Mandal Parishad Development Officers (MPDOs) and District Panchayat Officers (DPOs), they have been taking steps to prevent corruption in purchase of tractors.

According to official sources, some panchayats where tractors have been sold by paying commission to sarpanches have been stopped from completing the process.

They are directing the GPs to include the name of the model in the GP resolution so that the sarpanches could not change them by taking commissions.

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