Orissa admits diversion of PDS kerosene

Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 22:37

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government on Saturday
admitted diversion of kerosene meant to be distributed
under public districtbution system (PDS) to the black market.

"Yes certain quantity of kerosene oil is being
diverted. This can be completely stopped if the beneficiaries
are given the subsidy amount through bank accounts," Food
Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari said
while replying a debate on an adjournment motion.
Admitting that about 50 per cent of the PDS kerosene
was being routed outside, Pujari said the amount of diversion
of the `poor man`s fuel` was comparatively less in Orissa than
many other states.

Alleging that the state was not being allocated with
requisite quantity of sugar and rice for distribution among
the poor, Pujari said that while the state required 98,083
metric tonnes of sugar for distribution under the PDS, it gets
only 80,138 MT.

"Therefore, the government is giving only 1.647 kg of
sugar per ration card instead of two kg," he said adding that
a portion of sugar was also lost during trasnportation.

"The state is allocated sugar from Uttar Pradesh
instead of availing it from within the state or neighbouring
states," the minister said.
The minister alleged that central undertaking the Food
Corporation of India (FCI) was not perfectly doing its duty of
procuring paddy from farmers.

Opposition Congress, which staged a walk out alleging
complete collapse of PDS in the state, alleged that the
government had not taken any action against officials and
retailers who "looted" PDS items through fake ration cards.

The state government had identified 2,56,818 fake
ration cards, pointed out Congress chief whip Prasad
Harichandan.

Alleging a Rs 1,000 crore scam in paddy procurement in
the state, Harichandan said that persons, from the level of
fair price shop owners to senior officials, were involved in
the activities.

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress
sought to know from the government about distribution of cheap
rice among needy and hapless people.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 22:37

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