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28 MP Districts Supplied With 73k Metric Tonnes of Substandard Rice, Kamal Nath Wants PDS Ration Probed

By: Vivek Trivedi

News18

Last Updated: September 04, 2020, 21:35 IST

Bhopal

Representative image.

Representative image.

Calling it a big scam, the MPCC chief demanded that all ration distributed through the public distribution system (PDS) should be probed into.

Madhya Pradesh Congress leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath on Friday took on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government demanding a probe into the supply 73,000 metric tonnes of substandard rice through ration shops in 28 districts.

Calling it a big scam, the MPCC chief demanded that all ration distributed through the public distribution system (PDS) should be probed into.

Meanwhile, a letter written to all the district collectors by Department of Food and Civil Supplies has leaked to the media and it suggests that around 73,540 metric tonnes of rice was found to be below standards in the inspection carried out by Food and Civil Supplies Corporation.

Taking action, the state government has stopped distribution of rice under the PDS and has asked the collectors to return the below par rice to millers and ensure deposit of quality grain in next one week so that the PDS supplies could be resumed.

A report by Centre had exposed that tests confirmed that PDS ration shops distributed inferior rice among the poor in Mandla and Balaghat districts and the rice was not fit for ‘human consumption’.

Meanwhile, the politics continued to heat up on the issue. MPCC president Kamal Nath claimed that the poultry grade rice distribution wasn’t limited to Manda and Balaghat districts. “It’s a major scam and all the ration and other things distributed among the poor should be probed into.” Being a matter of public interest, the probe should be handed over to the CBI, demanded Nath.

PWD minister Bhupendra Singh accused Kamal Nath of not doing anything when he was ‘offered’ intelligence input in February 2020 that inferior quality rice was brought into the state and good quality rice was supplied out of state.

Congress spokesperson Syyed Jaafar alleged that instead of acting against the guilty millers, the state government has offered them amnesty by asking them to take back 73,000 metric tonnes of inferior rice and re-supply proper quality grain. “Are those close to the BJP engaged in this game?” asked Jaafar.

The state government has handed over the probe of substandard rice supply to Economic Offence Wing, which sent a team to Balaghat on Friday. The Jabalpur wing of the agency has been asked to probe and submit a report to headquarters. After a preliminary enquiry, an FIR is expected to be lodged in the matter.

The divisional commissioner of Jabalpur has ordered extensive collecting of samples from across the division. An FIR has been lodged against nine employees of warehousing corporation and food and civil supplies corporation in Balaghat. Electricity connection of 18 guilty rice mills have been snapped and these establishments have been sealed.

“We are seizing inferior quality rice inside mills so that it can’t be shifted anywhere else and FIRs are lodged those found prima facie guilty,” Divisional Commissioner MC Chuadhary said.

first published:September 04, 2020, 21:35 IST
last updated:September 04, 2020, 21:35 IST