Report Wire - Madras HC orders discover on plea to quash govt order proposing to ship rice to Sri Lanka 

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Madras HC orders discover on plea to quash govt order proposing to ship rice to Sri Lanka 

3 min read
Madras HC orders notice on plea to quash govt order proposing to send rice to Sri Lanka 

By PTI

CHENNAI: Alleging Rs 54 crore estimated loss within the buy of 40,000 tonne rice to be despatched to Sri Lanka in strains with a Tamil Nadu authorities resolution, a PIL petition has been filed within the Madras High Court to scrap the proposal and consequently direct the authorities involved to take steps to buy the rice by way of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in New Delhi.

When the general public curiosity litigation petition, additionally praying for a route to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to conduct an inquiry into the matter, got here up for listening to on Thursday, a trip bench of Justices G R Swaminathan and Senthil Kumar Ramamurthy posted it after summer time trip, in order to allow the authorities involved to file their counter-affidavits.

According to petitioner A Jaishankar of Tiruvarur, Chief Minister M Okay Stalin introduced within the state Assembly on April 29 that 40,000 tonne of rice can be supplied to Sri Lanka to assist the residents who’re going through acute hardships on account of financial crises in that nation.

Pursuant to this, the Tamil Nadu Civil Supply Corporation on May 5 submitted a proposal to the Finance and Consumer and Co-operative departments to grant permission to buy the rice.

It was acknowledged within the stated proposal that the Corporation had carried out a gathering with varied rice millers they usually have agreed to provide rice on the fee of Rs 33 per kg, together with all bills besides transportation price.

After negotiations, the rice millers agreed to provide 40,000 tonne of any one among three types of par-boiled rice–Co-51, ADT-45 and Andhra Ponni on the fee of Rs 33.

50 web per kg together with transportation, loading, unloading, dealing with, toll costs, bag with printing and all different related expenditure as much as supply level at Chennai/Tuticorin Ports.

The whole price has arrived at Rs 134 crore and the federal government on May 9 granted the monetary sanction.

Petitioner contended that the authorities involved had taken a hasty resolution to buy such an enormous amount of rice with out approaching the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the FCI, from the place the rice may be bought at a subsidised fee.

The provisions of the Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act got a go-by. The means through which that they had acted raised a variety of suspicions, he submitted.

Petitioner identified that the worth of rice per quintal (100 kg) is Rs 2,000 within the open market gross sales scheme for 2022.

If the authorities involved had opted to buy the rice underneath the stated scheme, it could have introduced down the expenditure from Rs 134 crore to only Rs 80 crore, leading to a saving of about Rs 54 crore.

Following criticism on the social media, the federal government had issued a press launch later, whereby it was acknowledged that the central authorities was supplying rice just for the general public distribution scheme (PDS) underneath the subsidised fee of Rs 20 per kg and it can’t be bought from them and despatched to another nation.

The State needed to challenge as if the federal government had taken a choice to buy high-quality rice and it can’t be in contrast with the one provided by the FCI underneath the PDS scheme, the petitioner contended.

The authorities not directly acknowledged that the PDS rice provided by the FCI was low high quality and therefore, it determined to buy on a nomination foundation.

The authorities had additionally warned that if anybody raises the problem, he/she is going to face applicable authorized motion.

The authorities involved had utterly did not both enquire with the Union authorities or the FCI for the availability of rice and there was no point out within the GO or within the press launch that the Centre had rejected their request.

The state authorities had taken a ‘hasty’ resolution with out verifying this side and with out analysing the opposite modes of buy and thereby dedicated a critical error, which might quantity to Rs 54 crore loss to the exchequer, the petitioner contended.