EOW-sealed agri commodities susceptible to spoilage

By : Dilip Kumar Jha
Last Updated: Wed, Jan 08, 2014 21:38 hrs

Jignesh Shah
A huge quantity of agri commodities seized by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police from borrowers' warehouses of the crisis-ridden National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) is prone to spoilage in the godowns. The commodities include those owned by third parties. The police will begin the auction process shortly.

According to a chargesheet by the EOW in the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) court on Monday, the agency has seized 25 tonnes of cumin seed, most susceptible to damage. Also, Mohan India’s 1,700 tonnes of sugar, sealed in the NSEL warehouse in Delhi, are feared damaged due to cold.

“Select commodities are susceptible to quality deterioration in case of a long period of sealing if adequate measures are not taken,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings.

The NSEL started liquidation of underlying stocks by the order of the commodity derivatives markets regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC). But, the process was halted because of alleged involvement of related entities of NSEL officials. The FMC directed the NSEL to set up a panel involving all classes of participants, including the NSEL Investors Forum. But, even this was halted after the EOW started taking possession of underlying commodities.

Himanshu Roy, joint police commissioner, crime, said, “The liquidation of stocks would start soon.”

The EOW is waiting for a court order as several cases have been filed in the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam, including the pledge of liquidation of the underlying commodities.

The EOW, in consultation with the FMC, started sealing the warehouses in November, which, by their information, possessed the underlying commodities of the defaulters.

“The perishable commodities seized in the warehouse belong mostly to third parties. Once they claim, they can get it. But, for releasing the quantity belonging to the NSEL borrowers, the EOW is awaiting the court order,” said an official.

Chana, maize, castor seed and red chilly are the sealed commodities that do not require frequent care. But, these are prone to spoilage when sealed for a long period.

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