According to the reliable information, it has been stated that the state government of Bihar admitted in the legislative council that Rs1, 329 crore had been pending with the rice millers since 2011. While, replying to a question of Mr K K Singh of the BJP, Food and consumer protection department Minister Mr Madan Sahni informed that FIRs were lodged against 1,197 mill owners and 207 of them were arrested, while 817 have surrendered and properties of 28 defaulters had been attached. The defaulters took paddy from the State Food Corporation but failed to return it after milling. Now we are in the process to recover the arrears from 105 rice millers, according to Mr Sahni. Further, in this regard, it was also added that arrest warrants had been issued against 330 millers.
During replying on other issues to a question of Mr Rajnish Kumar of BJP, the Minister also informed that ration cards were issued to 2.5 crore families as against the BPL population of 8.57 crore people covered under the Food Security Act launched in 2014. The government sought applications from those left out of the beneficiaries’ list. A total of 1.02 crore people have submitted their applications and 96 lakh were found genuine and they were given the cards accordingly. Further, the Minister also narrated that additional counters would be opened at block level to include those who were left out.
Furthermore, during the discussion on these issues, the leader of opposition in the council Mr Sushil Kumar Modi sought to know how many ration cards were printed and distributed during the last one year. Mr Modi also sought the number of food coupons distributed among the beneficiaries. However, the minister kept insisting on the point that the government had distributed 2.50 crore cards, including 25 lakh to Antyodaya families. While, replying to an another question of Mr Mangal Pandey of BJP, the Revenue and Land reforms Minister Mr Madan Mohan Jha admitted that the state government had failed to continue ‘chakbandi’ (land consolidation) programme in 1992. As a result, all the related employees were accommodated in some other government departments. Only 6% employees remained in the same department. However, the chakbandi programme was revived in March, 2004 on the Patna high court directive. It was informed by the Minister during the discussion that an Aerial photography is being done and it will continue for another five years to complete the survey work and there after the chakbandi programme would be implemented in all the districts accordingly.