Govt orders inquiry into Rs 100 cr PDS scam

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Guwahati, Mar 23: The Assam government has ordered a high-level inquiry into a Rs 100 crore Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) scam after farmers found anomalies in it through Right to information (RTI) Act.

Official sources said here today that Chief Secretary P C Sharma has ordered the inquiry and asked the Deputy Commissioners to submit a report on this within one year.

The government was forced to order an inquiry after the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS), a farmers association in the state, found large scale anomalies in the distribution of rice and wheat through RTI.

Meanwhile, the co-operative department has suspended the managing committees of 11 co-operatives and removed the secretaries in Golaghat district.

In an urgent directive, Mr Sharma has directed the Deputy Commissioners to conduct in-depth inspection, inquiry and examination into the present state of affairs in the PDS and submit the findings within one-and-a-half-months.

''We have revealed shocking informations about the scam through RTI with the help of media. However, it is estimated that the scam is of Rs 150 crore in Jorhat, Golaghat and Sivsagar district alone,'' KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said.

The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to investigate the happenings from March 2006 to October 2007 by constituting an investigative committee to be headed by an executive magistrate.

The series of scams unearthed by KMSS has drawn the attention of the Centre even. The state government had handed over the inquiry to the Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO).

UNI

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