Bhubaneswar, (Asian independent) Alleging unethical practices in the implementation of the PMGKAY scheme in Odisha, a delegation of BJP MPs from the state, including two Union ministers, met Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday and demanded a probe into the matter.
The six BJP MPs, including Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ashwini Vaishnaw, met Goyal just two days after a delegation of BJD MPs met the same minister in New Delhi over issues related to paddy procurement.
“We, the elected representatives of the people of Odisha, are writing to you with regard to the irregularities, discrepancies and unethical practices in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in Odisha, depriving the needy and eligible beneficiaries in the state from accruing the benefits under this Centrally sponsored scheme,” the BJP parliamentarians said in their memorandum submitted to Goyal.
As per the memorandum, about 12.94 lakh MT of foodgrains had been allocated to Odisha for distribution free of cost to more than 92.77 lakh NFSA card holders and 3.24 crore beneficiaries for the period April-November, 2020. However, only 12.5 LMT was lifted.
In addition to the foodgrains, about 27,853.89 MT of pulses/whole chana had also been allocated to the state during the period, they said.
Similarly, about 11.35 lakh MT foodgrains have been allocated to Odisha for the period May-November 2021 under the PMGKAY. However, the state has lifted 6.22 LMT.
“It is concerning to note that lifting of foodgrains under PMGKAY and NFSA is below 10 per cent in the districts of Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Khordha, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bargarh, Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam and Sundargarh,” the MPs said.
Similarly, the distribution of foodgrains in the months of May and June has also been very low compared to the allocated amount, they mentioned.
The discrepancies between the allocation done by the Centre and the distribution of foodgrains made by the Odisha government under PMGKAY and NFSA reveals the presence of ghost beneficiaries in the list of NFSA ration card holders, the MPs further alleged.
Violating the Central guidelines, the state government has resorted to mis-branding the scheme by promoting images of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, instead of the details of free ration items and the available benefits, they said.
The MPs from Odisha urged Goyal to conduct an enquiry into the matter and direct the state government to take necessary actions to rectify the anomalies in the implementation of PMGKAY in Odisha.