hen Union agriculture mnister Sharad Pawar told the Lok Sabha recently that "up to 100 per cent of the wheat in six of the eight Northeastern states is being diverted from the public distribution system (PDS)", he only confirmed what everyone knew. It’s public knowledge that PDS rice, wheat, sugar and superior kerosene oil is sold openly, food grain is distributed only on paper, and false transportation bills are cleared by authorities. In Arunachal Pradesh, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) made an ‘excess reimbursement’ of at least Rs 170 crore as transportation subsidy for rice. MP Tapir Gao told Parliament in 2004 that ‘bogus bills’ were prepared in regard to bill transport subsidies with the nexus of militants, FCI and state contractors. In Assam, at least 30 per cent of PDS food grain is siphoned off through ‘ghost ration cards’. This is nearly double the national average of 16.67 per cent. The CBI had registered a case relating to the wheat scam that took place in 1991-98. It was alleged then that 31,000 tonnes of wheat, allotted from the central quota meant for PDS, was sold in the open market.