Brinda Karat slams nation's food inspection systems

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New Delhi, Feb.21 (ANI): The opposition Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), on Monday slammed the food inspection procedures in the country.

CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat said the food inspection procedure in the country is almost dismantled.

After her meeting with India's Junior Food Minister K. V. Thomas, Karat said the ministry had assured them the matter would be taken up seriously.

"The fact of the matter is that inspections of food grains even now, the quality of food grains is very, very poor. It's basically almost dismantled; the system of inspections of the quality of food grains is also almost dismantled. There are a large number of vacancies also in FCI (Food Corporation of India) in this. So, these were all the issues that I raised with the Minister and the Minister has given me an assurance that he's going to take up this matter very seriously. They are going to have an inspections in various areas," she said.

Thomas had on Saturday said that the Agriculture Ministry was ready for implementation of the Food Security Bill, once it is cleared in Parliament.

He had said that Indian states would have the authority to decide their priorities and accordingly implement the new Bill, while noting many states had already begun modernising their Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) system for essential commodities.

Karat also commented on the setting up of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for the investigation of the telecom scam that had caused estimated losses of Rs. 1.76 trillion (about 39.57 billion dollars) to the exchequer, saying had the federal government accepted the probe earlier, the winter session of parliament would have been a success.

"Well I think Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister) has agreed that there is going to be a JPC on the 2G scam. If they had had the JPC the last (time), the winter session could also have been saved," she said.

The Congress-led government till now had dismissed the Opposition's demand for the JPC, saying a probe by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would suffice. (ANI)

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