Seven directors of Goa Dairy have been suspended due to irregularities
By Ramrai Naik
The state-led dairy enterprise Goa Dairy has been rife with controversy amid its already weakening market presence. The cooperative sector in the state has been a victim of its own success – constant political interference, mismanagement, financial irregularities, corruption, and lack of transparency are common symptoms due to the stakes involved in this enterprise.
Goa Dairy is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and it all started during last year’s AGM when the company declared losses to the tune of ₹5 crore. The dairy has been a loss-making entity in the recent past, but the extent at which losses were incurred during the last year is unprecedented and of grave concern. Earlier losses roughly stood in the range of several lakhs of rupees, never in crores of rupees.
Serious charges of financial irregularities with respect to purchase of machinery and raw materials were levelled against Managing Director N C Sawant, which led to him being suspended by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS). The suspension order was issued by the newly appointed dairy administrator Damodar Morajkar after the High Court denied any relief to Sawant. Morajkar, a senior government officer from Civil Supplies took charge as administrator after RCS disqualified seven directors of the Goa Dairy Board.
Morajkar recently inducted Dr Raghunath Dhuri as an interim managing director. Dhuri has taken over the reins until a full time MD is appointed. Acting on the Court’s orders, RCS had seized all documents from Sawant’s office for further investigation.
Earlier this year, in April, then chairman of Goa Dairy Madhav Sahakari was ousted through a no-confidence motion moved by the Board of Directors. Sahakari had taken the individual decision in his capacity as chairman to suspend N C Sawant from the post of MD, on suspicion of financial irregularities.
Sawant refused to step down and the Board claimed that they were not consulted while taking such a major decision. Upon Sahakari’s ouster, Rajesh Faldessai took over as new chairman of Goa Dairy and Sawant continued as MD.
Speaking to Business Goa, Madhav Sahakari said, “I appreciate that the government has acted upon my complaint and has taken the required action. I feel that the government should be given a minimum time of one year to carry out the much needed investigation. Even the Board of Directors should now face these charges and prove their innocence.”
Sahakari added that he has been opposing the purchase of new machinery, but the MD proceeded with the purchases. He also indicated that he would return to contest the board elections when they next take place. He also feels that the government should now be given time to stabilise affairs at the largest dairy producer in the state.
Several issues regarding the functioning of the dairy as well as the quality of the products have been raised in the past few years. And going by the problems that seem to constantly plague Goa Dairy, it will be some time before it turns profit
“I appreciate that the government has acted upon my complaint and has taken the required action. I feel that the government should be given a minimum time of one year to carry out the much needed investigation. Even the Board of Directors should now face these charges and prove their innocence”