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Vanishing units scam in Valley

Jammu, April 15: Over 4,000 ‘registered’ industrial units in Jammu and Kashmir have vanished. So has about Rs 100 crore given to them as subsidy.

Deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma — also the state industry minister — is believed to have woken up to the corrupt practices of officers in the industry department after complaints of ‘fake’ registrations began pouring in.

Sources said six top officials in the department have been rampantly making fake registrations over the last few years and misappropriating the crores granted to the department as subsidy.

Department files show that the units exist and that they have been given subsidies and other incentives.

After getting wind of the ‘scam’, Sharma ordered an inquiry, which zeroed in on the officials.

The officials are believed to have invented the names of entrepreneurs, filled up forms, allotted land and given subsidy.

“All this was done with the help of middlemen. The government is now in the process of identifying the people who have misappropriated money meant for development of industry in this state,” government sources said.

The officials were allegedly patronised by influential political personalities, the sources added.

“There is an attempt by some in the ruling coalition to shield the guilty and prevent the case being referred to the vigilance organisation for further inquiry and action,” the officials added.

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