The News Scroll 02 May 2020  Last Updated at 4:48 pm | Source: PTI

Lockdown: Bengal to seek written statements from ration dealers over receipt of adequate foodgrains

Lockdown: Bengal to seek written statements from ration dealers over receipt of adequate foodgrains
Kolkata, May 2 (PTI) To check misappropriation of items in the public distribution system, the West Bengal government is planning to seek written undertakings from ration dealers stating they are receiving adequate quantities of good quality foodgrains for distribution among beneficiaries, officials said on Saturday.

The initiative will start from Purulia district, where such written undertakings will be sought from 1,000 ration dealers, they said.

State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said the initiative will be gradually expanded throughout the state to ensure smooth functioning of the PDS.

"We have planned this initiative to ensure that the dealers are receiving good quality foodgrains and other items in adequate quantities. As of now, it will start from Purulia and will be gradually expanded to Bankura and Birbhum and then to the entire state," Mullick told PTI.

The minister had recently held an emergency meeting with Purulia district officials regarding immediate procurement of paddy for keeping the stocks ready for distribution.

"After the ration dealers have given written statements, any excuse of not getting an adequate quantity of good quality foodgrains will not hold water. We will ensure that people get ration as per their allotment," he said.

The state government requires around five lakh tonnes of rice every month to serve the huge number of beneficiaries in the state around nine crores, department officials said.

Since the lockdown was imposed, around six lakh people in the state are also being served five kg of rice per head every month under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, they said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also announced free foodgrains and ration to 7.5 crore people in the state till September.

She said an additional two kg of rice is also being delivered to the residences of the students under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the midday meal scheme.

Several incidents of clashes outside PDS outlets across the state were reported in April, with local residents alleging improper distribution of ration materials.

The state BJP has also alleged anomalies in the PDS and claimed that a section of the poor is not receiving foodgrains and is starving.

They have demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter and the party''s Alipurduars MP John Barla has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had on Monday written to the chief minister, expressing concerns over the PDS in the state.

"The situation of PDS in the state has reached alarming levels of concerns," he had said. PTI SCH ACD ACD

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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