rice export: scam COMMENTS
Greedy exporters used ‘needy’ African nations to circumvent a ban on rice exports. An indulgent officialdom facilitates the windfall.

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Daily Mail
Aug 03, 2009

Editor’s note: This is to clarify that Union commerce minister Anand Sharma was in no way linked to the rice scam that we exposed in our July 27 issue. When the rice exports happened, Mr Sharma was minister of state for external affairs.

Aug 10, 2009
Grain Drain

Nearly 25 years ago, there was another rice export scandal in which cheaper coarse rice was exported to the erstwhile ussr instead of basmati. A swami who died in an air crash was allegedly the kingpin. The only thing common to this rice scam is that the Congress was the ruling party then too.

Rajiv Chopra, Jammu

With all our faith resting on the pds, can we fix the leaky pipeline first?

Varun Garde, Bangalore

I was honestly wondering why Kamal Nath was shifted out of the commerce ministry when he was supposed to have been doing a great job. He has obviously made a killing at the cost of India’s hungry poor.

Dr Harun, Chennai

I remember Kamal Nath arguing in his usual glib manner in favour of obc quotas, which genie Arjun Singh had uncorked just before the UP assembly elections. I am least surprised that he would have contributed his mite in the rice scam. People like him have bit by bit chiselled the moral sanity of this unfortunate nation.

Siddharth, Chennai

Outrage, angst and anger fill my mind as I read about this blatant scam. And all this while the farmers who grow this rice commit suicide and millions go hungry each day. What makes one all the more helpless is the fact that in spite of all facts being dug out and truth out in the open, no action would be taken against anyone involved and the siphoning off of precious food shall resume once the dust settles over this controversy!

Ameet Bhuvan, Bhubaneswar

The main reason for the steady growth of corruption in India is the advent of get-rich-quick career politicians. They make hay while their political sun is shining and also institutionalise corruption among their officials. The remedy thus lies in separating the functions of politicians and officials. Politicians should confine themselves to laying down policies and leave the day-to-day administration to the enforcement officials and judiciary.

Rahul Sankar, on e-mail

What is so special about this scam? Every Indian knows that every political party that has been in power has been involved in some scam or the other. But do such scams occur without the knowledge and active involvement of top ias officials? There is no selection procedure for politicians but top government officials are supposed to have been selected through “strict appraisal procedures”. Shouldn’t they uphold the high moral values they are supposed to have imbibed during training?

Akil, Bangalore

Your cover story is repeated thousands of times all over the country, in substance if not in magnitude, every working day. 

Ashok Lal, Mumbai

So? Will people be arrested and put in jail? No sirree. All politicians are in this together.

Gautam Mohan Gulati, Adipur, Gujarat

Wherever Kamal Nath goes, some scandal follows.

Joe Brodway, New York

Jul 18, 2009
09:05 PM
Where Kamal Nath walks a stinking scandal is always following him..Prime Minister Hijda Singh has become the proverbial monkey..see no evil, hear no...
Joe Brodway
New York, USA
Jul 19, 2009
12:41 PM
What is new in this. These things have been happening in India since very very long time and will keep on
happening. Will these people be arrested and put in jail. No way, all the politicians from all the parties
are together in these scams. Nothing will happen.
Even most of the journalists are bribed by them so they should not investigate fully and leave the story in between . There is always something else to report.
Even this news will end here nobody will follow and in few days everyone would have forgotten about it.
Gautam Mohan Gulati
Adipur, India
Jul 19, 2009
02:40 PM
The BIGGEST scandal of all, is the support lent to the ruling party by the media. MMS ( a pseudo intelllectual ), is the darling of the media, ( and Sonia Gandhi ), and can 'do nothing wrong'.

The opposition has shot itself in the foot, making a fool of itself, being entirely communal, and hence unlikely to find crediblity.

While the androphobic government waived 66k crores of defaulted loans for votes, it gave away a fortune to women - along with androphobic laws - again in return for favours. While education has recieved hardly 40% of the sum it was promised. No questions are asked by the media.

This scandalous government passed under the radar, the telecom scam, causing 50k crores loss to the government. It has allies, only for the purpose of minting money.

Its policemen are busy collecting 'mammool' from 'prohibited' liquor, while its judiciary is keen on harassing ex-husbands.

Males are unaware of their rights, while the government is keen on throwing it away through a reservation scheme.

Does all this hurt anyone, anymore?

Parthasarathy for the 28th time
Chennai, India
Jul 19, 2009
07:38 PM
What is so special about these scam??? Don't every Indian know that every political party was in power has involved in scams. But an such scams occur without the knowledge and active involvement of the top IAS officials??? There is no selection procedure for being a Politicians but does the Top Govt Servants need to reappear in UPSC exam every five years. So aren't the Top Govt Officials who have been selected through "supposedly strict procedure" "supposed to uphold" the high moral values they "are supposed to have imbibed" during training more responsible???
Bangalore, India
Jul 20, 2009
06:22 AM
This is the most corrupt govt ever, made even worse what with being under the command of none other than "Mr Clean" himself, the great economist of international renown. Like Nehru, he too not just turned a blind eye, but actually condoned criminal behavior by his corrupt peers and cronies in pursuit of his agenda- which amounted to a big zero!
Springfield, United States
Jul 20, 2009
01:42 PM
Your cover story is repeated thousands of times all over the country, in substance if not in magnitude, every working day. The less the government intervenes in the economy, the better, as the example of the IT industry shows.
ashok lal
mumbai, India
Jul 21, 2009
07:46 PM
India's smug editorial class loves these big, bold headlines. And they will try every excuse to deny and break a sathyagrahi. The Outlook's cynicism, resignation and gracelessness about an Indian's "no excuses", ultra peaceful, non partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption and for the idea of the rule of law in India - Now in its 18th year - is as much a problem.
RTI Act 2005 Abuse In Andhra Pradesh- SIC Cheats! Chief Secretary Lies!http://sathyagr...-andhra-pradesh.html
Hyderabad, India
Jul 21, 2009
08:06 PM
I think Manmohan is a very plucky man, apart from being a very honest one at that. He has survived even the 'havans' that were reportedly organized by the BJP satans to invite harm unto the Singh.
Vivek Chatterjee
Calcutta, India
Jul 22, 2009
12:02 PM
Why does nt OUTLOOK complain directly to the Vigilance deprment of it has EVIDENCE, instead of PRETENDING to be neutral?
Parthasarathy for the 28th time
Chennai, India
Jul 22, 2009
06:59 PM
Honestly i was left wondering why Kamal Nath of Sonu Walia fame was shifted from the commerce ministry when he was supposed to have done a great job as commerce minister.If at all RahulBaba has any guts he should have the whole scandal enquired as its obviously clear that KamalNath has made a killing thanks to the hungry poor of India.Unless Rahul has the whole rice scam looked into the facade of good governance will remain.
chennai, India
Jul 23, 2009
11:24 AM
I remember Kamal Nath vociferously arguing in favour of OBC quotas when Arjun Singh had uncorked the OBC genie to win the UP assembly elections just round the corner. This man was at his venomous best when it came to divide-and-rule and thereby helping the Congress in buttressing the quotaist votebanks. I am least surprised that a man such as Kamalnath with perversion so steeped into his soul had contributed his mite in this gigantic rice scam. Congress criminals are ruling this nation from Day 1 forgery, chicanery and untruth and pitting one group of Indians against another. They have bit by bit chiselled the moral sanity of this unfortunate nation.
Chennai, India
Jul 24, 2009
12:30 AM
outrage angst and anger fill the mind reading of this blatant scam. and all this , while the farmers who grow this rice commit suicides and millions go hungry each day in our shining democracy. what makes one all the more helpless is th efact that inspite of all facts being dug out and truth out in th eopen, no action would be taken against anyone involved and the same siphoning off of precious food shall continue unabated once dust settles over this controversy!
bhubaneswar, India
Jul 26, 2009
06:24 PM
It is a common knowledge within the Exporters circle that $40/MT went to the Ministry for the permissions.

CBI or the other relevant authority may like to check this.
New York, United States
Jul 28, 2009
05:24 PM
The entire business stinks, not just in India, but at the receiving end as well.Whilst Indian officials arbitrarily decide to lift the export ban and sell the Rice at 50% of the world market price,the top policitians of the receiving countries also receive huge kickbacks from the brokering Swiss companies and Delhi based indian Companies.We should put an end to encourage corrption at both the ends.
John Col
Mumbai, India
Jul 28, 2009
05:38 PM
Dear Editor,
I will wish to congratulate you and you dedicated team for this very mind boggling article.I am sure,the investigation was laborious, risky and skillful.This implies that not only some of our highly placed officails are corrupt, but they are exporting corruption to Afrcia through unscrupulous Indian and Swiss Companies,who are nominated Agents for these poor African States.When India supplies Rice at preferential and concessional prices, do the masses of the poverty struk African countries benefit at all- and the answer is a big NO.
Swiss Companies cannot be investigatedm as they are out of jurisdiction,but Indian companies are not.
John Col
Mumbai, India
Jul 29, 2009
02:10 PM
This grave issue concerns corruption,exporting corruption and depriving our own Masses of basic staple food, and I am totally dismayed that not a single word from Opposition Political Parties.As far as I am concerned, this publication in Out Look,serves as a FIR against the Indian Exporters,who have corrupted Indian officials, African Officials(atleast 1 Minister in Ghana was dismissed)and in the process must have duped Income tax Dept
John Col
Mumbai, India
Aug 01, 2009
09:44 PM
Dear Sir,
I read with great interest the article ‘There is a cure’ highlighting the importance of low cost of the generic medicines in bringing down the cost of health care in India. While I fully agree with the concept of lowering the cost of the medicines through the generics, I completely disagree with the philosophy of blind faith in every marketed generic medicine. It is vital that the quality of these generics is as good as the original product and the burden of proof must be on the manufacturing company. A strong, efficient, empowered, autonomous organization and system must control the quality of the generics and monitor the manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, such mechanisms do not exist in sufficient strength in our country and many of the companies including reputed companies take advantage of these factors. The result is marketing of many generics which confuse the doctor and the consumer. There are several authentic reports of spurious and substandard drugs in developed countries, especially in India, (ref http://www.who.int/m...ets/2003/fs275/en/). Unhealthy third party manufacturing practices, lack of honesty and transparency, lack of quality control mechanisms are some of the factors that raise the serious issue of standards of generics. Until the existence of an effective national mechanism, it is very essential for the doctors, patients and private and govt procurement agencies to have their own systems of choosing the generics, rather than going by the low cost. In the present system a company can market a drug by proving the quality of medicines by production of few papers to the concerned organization. Can we accept any cheap marketed generic life saving drug, without sufficient proof of its efficacy? The burden of the proving the actual efficacy of the drug falls on the consumers today and not the company. How fair is this practice? Please have a look at this serious report from Jakarta (http://www.thejakar...-generic-drugs.html) There is an urgent need to get to this problem before a serious situation emerges out of the glaring malpractices in manufacturing of the generics.
Dr R Ranga Rao
New Delhi, India
Jun 18, 2012
12:36 PM

Why was Sunny Leone brought to India? To distract Indian mind from Sierra leone and rice scam to Sunny leone and sex. Indians are so innocent, easily forgive and forget. 

Delhi, India


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