Food Commission reveals 2 lakh ghost PDS beneficiaries in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: At a time while the State government is launching schemes after schemes for the welfare of people, reports of ghost beneficiaries under the Public Distribution System (PDS) has triggered doubts over effective implementation of such welfare schemes.

In a letter to all the district collectors, State Food Commissioner Ranglal Jamuda has cited his concerns saying that PDS rice has been issued in the name of over 2 lakh ghost beneficiaries in the State during the last two months of December 2018 and January 2019.

“During the months of October and November 2018 not a single dead person was detected in the districts of Malkangiri and in other five districts namely Deogarh (83), Jagatsinghpur (109), Nuapada (37), Puri (36) and Sonepur (95) the detection of dead persons was very negligible. This is despite instructions to detect at least 2 lakh dead persons in the months of October and November 2018,” the Food Commission state in its report.

The Food Commission added that only 43,428 dead persons were detected of which only 41,126 persons have been deleted from the beneficiary list.

“So you are once again impressed to accelerate the process of detection of dead persons to ensure that at least 2 lakh dead persons are detected,” the Commission wrote in its letter. This apart, the Food Commission has also expressed its displeasure over non-inclusion of additional 4 lakh beneficiaries under state’s own food security scheme.

“While deserving beneficiaries have been ignored, the government officials are siphoning rice in the name of dead persons which is very unfortunate,” said Odisha BJP vice president Samir Mohanty.

Congress media cell chief Satya Prakash Nayak, toeing on the lines of Mohanty, alleged that the officials of the government are involved in this blatant corruption. “The amounts siphoned go into the pockets of leaders and supporters of the ruling party,” said Nayak.

However, ruling-BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said that the State government will take necessary action based on the report of the Food Commission.