The delay in distribution of 68,000 tones of substandard rice under the Anna Bhagya Scheme has made the Karnataka government under the burden of Rs 169 crore said a local official.
The State Food and Civil Supplies Department had bought 1.61 lakh tonnes of rice from rice millers between November 2013 and February 2014 which was meant to distribute at the subsidized price of Rs 1 per Kg under Anna Bhagya Scheme.Of the total 93,000 tonnes was distributed to state BPL families and rest was founded of inferior quality so was held under the stock.
The left over rice is kept under the godowns of State and central warehousing corporations in Davangere, Koppal, Raichur, Tumkur, Shimoga, Kolar, Bellary, Mysore, Mandya and Kodagu districts. The condition of the held-over rice stock has worsened due to improper preservation.
Larvae of worms,insects and pest had damaged the stock which forced the food department to fumigate the rice, official sources told Deccan Herald.
An independent assesment in July by the Hyderabad-based National Collateral Management Services Limited has found that at least 16,000 tonnes of the rice was pest-infested. Also it confirmed that the stock was of substandard quality with 33 to 40 per cent of broken rice against the permissible limit of 25 per cent.
Although the State Food and Civil Supplies Department has stopped purchase of rice from the millers after the complaints against miller about the supply of inferior quality rice.The Department has went ahead and cleared the bills of most millers.Of the total Rs 388 crore worth rice purchased in 2013-14, bills of Rs 343 crore were cleared. Incidentally, the government procured the foodgrain at an enhanced price of Rs 24 per kg as against Rs 21.60 per kg the previous season.
The rice millers whose payment is due have filled the case against the department.The food department sent around 700 samples of the rice stock to the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) for testing.
Tha samples have went for testing so their is no reason for the state to hold them but the department is not discharging the stock.
The karnataka state food and civil supplies department officials are repeatedly informing the Food and Civil Supplies Department to dispose the stock as early as possible as it is getting worse.
The Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation has suggested the The karnataka state food and civil supplies department either to talk to the miller directly and said them to replace the stock with good qwuality or to auction it.
CFTRI has said that it will take 4-5 months more to test the samples.Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao admitted that the rice was pest-infested. “I know the rice is pest-infested and we are fumigating it. We will sift the rice that can be used and supply it. Broken rice and substandard rice will be returned to the millers,” he said.
The minister said he has convened a meeting of officials on Thursday to take a decision on the distribution of the stock.