No criminal case made in procurement of pulse scam : Virbhadra Singh


By : Mohan Verma

Himachal Pradesh government today stated on the floor of house that no criminal case was made out in procurement of pulses as this scam took place during last BJP government but departmental proceedings had been recommended against two officers for tempering e-tenders.

While intervening during the budgetary estimates demand of grant to consumer affairs, food and civil supply department in the assembly, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh stated in the assembly today.

Mr. Singh informed that state vigilance and anti corruption bureau conducted probe into this scam but no criminal case was made out in procurement of pulse as this scam took place during the last BJP regime.

He said that however departmental proceeding had been recommended against two officers for tempering e-tenders and a challan had been put up in the court.

Earlier, Maheshwar Singh of HLP (Kullu) alleged that state government should tighten the noose of culprit traders or suppliers who were involved in the pulse scam. Reminding that present consumer affairs food & civil supply minister G.S. Bali had been chairmen of Congress charge sheet committee also highlighted this scam in the past himself but now he seemed to be trying to protect such elements.

At least departments should not involve such traders in new supply order under PDS system who had been involved in the scam, member pointed out that though matter was pending in the court but it did not bar the government to blacklist such firms after tightening their noose.

Raising the issue of photographs of Congress leaders printed on the carry bag of PDS system, Maheshwar Singh want to know that why photograph of Mr. Bali had been blurred as it is not clearly visible.

Insisting to resist from such practice, member said that government had been banned the use of carry bags having photograph of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the past and also banned during the election.

He also expressed the concern over the delay which had been occurred in issuing of ration cards under PDS system that could not be completed in next six months. He also criticized the provisions to make woman head of family in ration card stating that it was creating problem to beneficiaries.

Replying to the allocation and grants of department in the budgetary estimates, Mr. Bali stated in the house that state government should take action against those officers who were responsible to morphed his photograph on the ration carry bags being issued by department in the PDS depots.

He pointed out that these complaints were also coming from rest of the state and such officers should be penalized for adopting negligence (indicating toward Chief Minister).

He said that department has printed photograph of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on the new ration card forms. Minister assured that department would complete the process of new ration card before the election code to be enforced in the state for Lok Sabha election.

Minister also said that new gas agencies were being opened in the tribal areas under Rajiv Gandhi Yojana while sub-depots would be opened on the priority of members. He said that if any member had more information about pulse scam, then they should submit documents to state vigilance and anti corruption Bureau as the latter did not recovered any proof to prosecute any dealers and middleman in the pulse scam. Denying the allegation of members that under weight quota of ration had been supplied to depots holders, minister said that government had issued instruction to lift the food grain from godown after properly weighing them.

This government wants to stop pilferage of ration during the supply, moreover, department would provide telephone lists of all depots holders and concerned officer so that members could readily address and intervene if required.

Asha Kumari demanded that more PDS depots should be opened in state. Rajesh Dharmani (Ghumarwin-Congress) also participated in the discussion. The house latter allowed the demands of grants to the department with voice vote.

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