The Central government’s ambitious food schemes for the poor are failing badly in Madhubani district’s Jaynagar block and the areas nearby. It is reported that the Antyodaya and Below Poverty Line (BPL) Schemes that provide food grains on discounted rate are mired in corruption, and crores of rupees are siphoned off every year. The corruption in these food schemes has involved the food smugglers and the officers from the Supply Department.
It is to be noted that three food-based schemes – Antyodaya, BPL and the Mid-Day Meal – which are sponsored by the Centre are being run in Jaynagar block. The implementation of the Mid-Day Meal is done by the Block Education Department and the BPL and Antyodaya Schemes by the Supply Department. According to the rules, the poor and helpless people should be given 14 kg of wheat at Rs. 2 per kg and 21 kg rice at Rs. 3 per kg every month under the Antyodaya Scheme. Under the BPL Scheme every month 10 kg of wheat and 15 kg rice should be given at Rs. 6.78 and Rs. 5.22, respectively. The food grains of all these food-based schemes are first sent to the Food Corporation of India by the railways. After this the grains are supplied to the godowns of the State Food Corporations, and then distributed to the public through shopkeepers via the Public Distribution System. There are so many loopholes in this chain of supply made by the government that people hardly get the 10 per cent of the sanctioned food grain. Chauthi Duniya has some facts which reveal that the government provides the food grains every month, but people get these food grains only once or twice in a year. The government is issuing food grains in the name of poor.
A nexus between officers of the Supply Department and food smugglers are delaying the supply of food grains for the poor by using technicalities. Local leaders are saying that the food grains supplied by the government are sold in the market through black marketing.
The biggest proof of this is the godowns that are filled with food grains. The food is distributed in the verandah of the godown and also in the open. A nexus between officers of the Supply Department and food smugglers are delaying the supply of food grains for the poor by using technicalities. They are not following the rules and the food grains of 2 months are collected in 1 month. Local leaders are saying that the food grains supplied by the government are sold in the market through black marketing.
Jivach Shah from Dullipatti Panchayat of Jaynagar block (BPL coupon no. 0178966), Bharat Safi (BPL coupon no. (0177593), Barhi Panchayat’s Mohammad Tabarak (BPL coupon no. 0040646), Shamirul, Qasim, Zabaina Khatun, Mohammad Murtaza, Mohammad Tamanna, Mohammad Mustafa, Mohammad Tamanne and many others showed their Antyodaya and BPL card and revealed that from April 2011 to March 2012 they have received food grains only one or two times. Barhi Panchayat’s Mohammad Feroz (BPL coupon no. 0550988), Mohammad Nizam and many others said they did not received food grains even once in the year; and all the coupons are still with them.
Mohammad Kalimuddin, the Manager of State Food Corporation’s godown at Jaynagar, said that under the Antyodaya Scheme, 33,590 quintals of rice and 17,553 quintals of wheat were taken from the godown on the name of poor people in Jaynagar and Ladniya block from April 2011 to March 2012.
Cases of black marketing of food grains from government godowns are continuously coming out. Almost a dozen cases are registered on such accounts in many Police Stations of the district. A case of black marketing of food grains related with the Jaynagar Police Station, with case no. 14/2011, is being investigated by Economic Offences Wing (EOW). Most of the cases are limited to black marketing only. But the game of black marketing is going on with the help of officers of the Supply Department.