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Thread: Flour scam in Golaghat PDS

  1. #1
    C J Karira
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    Flour scam in Golaghat PDS

    The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Wednesday alleged that Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam received Rs 88,83,000 as commission over flour meant to reach the poorer section of the society in Golaghat district in the period from April 2006 to November 2007. The KMSS accusing the Minister on the strength of its social audit and information accessed under the Right to Information Act, revealed documents before media persons showing the Minister’s share in the commission over items targeted for beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS).

    The KMSS alleged that flour allotted for Golaghat district under PDS was sold by a section of businessmen in their own brand name by paying commission to the concerned Minister, superintendent, co-operative secretaries, FCI officials and all other groups who mattered.

    The study by KMSS under the RTI revealed that in between the period from April 2006 to November 2007, 88,830 quintal of flour was allotted for Golaghat district out of which 79,947 quintal was sold in the black market by the businessmen, owners of flourmills. The flour scandal in between this period is to the tune of Rs 11 crore, informed KMSS.

    “The flour mill owners are selling the allotted flour in their own brand name and refusing to give the allotted quota to the co-operatives or are giving poor quality flour in lesser quantity,” alleged Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of KMSS.

    The KMSS has alleged that three flour mills namely Kuber Roller Flour Mill, SSK Flour Mill and Nauka Food Industries Ltd have been selling PDS flour in their brand names RK Brand, Sri and Nauka respectively.

    “The PDS has become a farce in Golaghat with corruption eating at the system from top to bottom,” lamented Gogoi adding that the greed of the Government officials for commission has crippled the PDS.

    As per documents of the KMSS, the Supply Minister get Rs 100 as commission per quintal of PDS flour, the supply superintendent and the Deputy Commissioner get Rs 30 as commission per quintal, the FCI officials get Rs 20, the co-operative secretaries get Rs 50 and a few organizations get Rs 10 as commission per quintal of flour.

    “So a total of Rs 210 go out as commission per quintal of PDS flour and from April 2006 to November 2007 in Golaghat, Rs 1,86,54,300 have gone out as commission,” informed Gogoi.

    If the Supply Minister had the lion’s share of the commission over the period, others too had a fair share. The supply superintendent got Rs 26,64,900, the FCI officials got Rs 17,76,600, the co-operative secretaries got Rs 44,41,500 and the organizations got Rs 8,88,300 as commission.

    “If from a small district like Golaghat, the Supply Minister gets so much as commission, it could be well imagined how much he gets from the rest of the districts,” said Gogoi.

    On the other hand, the KMSS said that the mill owners have been resorting to ruse like spraying water over the PDS flour so that it becomes fungus infected within a week and people form the opinion that the PDS flour was of poor quality.

    The KMSS submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today demanding streamlining of the PDS in Golaghat and other districts.

    The Assam Tribune Online

  2. #2

    Battling graft, armed with info

    Battling graft, armed with info

    as reported by Rahul Karmakar, Hindustan Times, Guwahati, August 15, 2008

    The last two years of Akhil Gogois life have been spent underground. He is not a member of a militant group in the North-East. He keeps his whereabouts secret to protect himself from politicians, contractors, policemen and goons who his relentless war against corruption has annoyed.

    Hailing from Assams Jorhat district, the 32-year-old has been an activist from his college days. But he came to be really hated by the powerful ever since his NGO, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, filed Right To Information (RTI) applications in March 2006 seeking clarity on developmental schemes in neighbouring Golaghat district.

    His persistence forced the authorities to acknowledge that large sums allocated for these projects had been siphoned off. The project director and accountant of Golaghats District Rural Development Agency were arrested and the entire staff transferred.

    With similar RTI applications, Gogoi then established that 90 to 95 per cent of the rice supposed to be sold under Assams public distribution system was being black-marketed. How does he make a living? I live off my wife, a college lecturer, he replied, with disarming frankness.

    If you know someone working towards upholding integrity in public life, nominate the person for the The Manjunath Shanmugam Integrity Award.

    Battling graft, armed with info- Hindustan Times

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