Govt files criminal case against 32 in dal scam

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Thursday said criminal cases had been registered against 32 persons for their alleged involvement in supply of substandard pulses under mid-day meal (MDM) and supplimentary nutrition programme (SNP).

This was stated by women and child development minister Prafulla Samal while participating in an adjournment motion debate in the assembly.

"The state government had taken action against several persons and officials. A private dal supplier agency has also been black-listed by the government in connection with supply of bad quality pulses," Samal said adding that the state government was committed to provide nutritious food to children, women and aged persons.

The dal scam that had seen exit of a woman minister last month, rocked the assembly with opposition demanding action against senior officials.

"The government will take stringent action against any person involved in irregularities in implementation of the MDM and SNP," Samal said.

Defending Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the minister said, "The chief minister has taken all steps to maintain transparency in implementation of MDM and SNP programme."

"It is unfortunate that the CM`s name is being taken by opposition in the dal irregularities," Samal said adding that the state government had already decided to further decentralise implementation of such programmes from April 1.

The state government in 2001 had decentralised the process of procurement and supply of dal to district level where collectors were head of district level committee dealing with such matter.

Instructions were also given to verify quality of pulses being supplied under MDM and SNP while rice required for the purpose were being lifted from Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns every month, he said.