BJP alleges 'scam' in distribution of free rice in Chhattisgarh

The Congress government, however, denied the charges and said it has been distributing more rice than the allocation made by the Centre under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

Published: 05th October 2021 12:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2021 12:24 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image of rice bags.

Representational image. (Photo | Express)

By PTI

RAIPUR: The opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh on Monday accused the Congress government of committing irregularities in distribution of free rice supplied by the Centre to the state for PDS beneficiaries under a welfare scheme in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government, however, denied the charges and said it has been distributing more rice than the allocation made by the Centre under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

“The Congress government has committed a big scam in the distribution of rice sent by the Narendra Modi government during the COVID-19 pandemic," alleged state BJP president Vishnudeo Sai and Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik at a joint press conference here.

"An additional allocation of 1.385 lakh tonnes of rice is being made every month by the Centre under the PMGKAY. At the rate of 5 kg rice per person per month, over 2 crore people of the state should benefit from the additional allocation. But the actual benefit is reaching only one third of the eligible beneficiaries," they claimed.

Chhattisgarh has received more than 7 lakh metric tonnes of rice additionally for families which hold priority group ration cards for seven months (May to November this year), but the stock is not being distributed properly to the needy households, Kaushik claimed, alleging irregularities in distribution.

Claiming it to be a "scam worth several lakhs of rupees", the BJP leaders demanded a high-level probe.

The BJP leaders demanded that the additional rice allotted by the Centre be made available to the beneficiaries and families deprived of their quota of the foodgrain be given cash as compensation.

The BJP will stage protests at all PDS ration shops in the state on October 7 and 8 if its demands were not fulfilled, they said.

Refuting the allegations, the state government, in a statement, said, Free rice is being distributed by the Chhattisgarh government to 58.91 lakh families of the state from May this year, which will continue till November. The Government of India has been providing free rice to only 51.20 lakh Antyodaya and priority ration card holder families in the state under the PMGKAY”.

The Congress government claimed the state has been distributing more rice than what it has been receiving from the Centre.

"The state government has been distributing more rice than the allocation received from the Centre. The subsidy for rice being distributed additionally is being borne by the state government," said the release issued by the public relations department.

From May to September this year, the Centre has allocated 10.78 lakh tonnes of rice under the National Food Security Act and under the PMGKAY, out of which 10.56 lakh tonnes have been distributed to eligible families, it said.

During this period, 1.12 lakh tonnes of free rice have been distributed to the additional ration card holders, whose expenditure is being borne by the state government, the release said.

Besides, 1.30 lakh tonnes of rice have been distributed to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families at concessional rates, the subsidy of which is also being borne by the state government, it said.



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