FCBL: The Food Corporation of Bhutan limited (FCBL) recently filed a case with the Phuentsholing dungkhag court against its auction yard cashier, after the corporation learnt about a shortage of about Nu 3.2M (million).

While the court has registered the case, the cashier has also been suspended.

Corporation officials said the shortage was traced while ascertaining accounts of potato sales for the 2014 season.  Although the accounts record showed figures received from potato bidders, the shortage was felt while making payment to the potato growers.

“The amount that needed to be paid to the growers was more than the amount received from the buyers,” an FCBL official said.

However, at this moment, the official said, nothing could be determined, as there could have been excess payment made incorrectly.  As transactions were done in cash, the official said it would be difficult to ascertain where the problem lay.

FCBL officials said the main reason for filing a case with the court was because the employee had denied the allegation. “She said she didn’t do anything wrong,” the corporation official said.

The cashier couldn’t be contacted for comments.

Meanwhile, potato sales hit a record high in 2014 season.  During the season, auctions and transactions worth millions transpire, officials said.

Figures with the corporation show a total of about 26,345.58MT (metric tonnes) of potato were auctioned across the country last year.

With continued high prices in the market, farmers were able to mint Nu 684.10M.  The average price a kilo of tuber fetched was Nu 38.51, while the highest price in 2014 was Nu 56.80.

In 2013, potato growers produced 26,028MT of potatoes that fetched them Nu 415.56M.  Although the quantity of potato auctioned didn’t increase significantly, the earnings were more than 60 percent compared to 2013.

By Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing