LG orders probe into ration theft Says Will Clear Doorstep Delivery Scheme If Govt Is Sure Checks Are In Place
New Delhi: Following the AAP government’s repeated allegations of “open theft” of ration, LG Anil Baijal on Monday agreed to suspend the ePoS (electronic point of sale) system in the distribution of subsidised ration and also ordered the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe the alleged “pilferage of ration” through the use of OTPs.
The devices are being used for biometric identification of the subsidised ration beneficiaries in the city from January 1. In a statement on Monday, the LG’s office also hinted at approving the do- orstep delivery of ration scheme provided the government takes prior approval of the Centre. “If the elected government is convinced that sufficient checks and balances have been put in place in the proposed doorstep delivery of ration scheme and the issue highlighted by him (LG) in the previous note have been addressed, he has no objection to the implementation of the same,” it said.
On suspending the e-Pos devices, the statement said Baijal had concurred with the CM’s proposal and “hoped that all legal, financial and administrative implications of this decision have be- en taken into account by the elected government”. The LG, however, opined that the very technology that enabled detection of fraudulent transactions should not be ultimately discarded.
On Friday, Kejriwal had urged the LG to approve the government’s doorstep delivery scheme and scrap the e-PoS devices. He had also demanded suspension of food commissioner K R Meena to allow aprobe into the alleged “largescale pilferage of foodgrains”.
The alleged misuse of OTPs came to light when food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain on March 21asked the department to provide the entire data related to the system. The LG office statement said Baijal was surprised to receive the suspension proposal as the government was keen to introduce the devices just a few months ago in view of its crucial role in preventing diversion of foodgrains and weeding out lakhs of ineligible beneficiaries. “Since the proposal has been received again, LG has concurred with it.”
As the CM and Hussain had made serious allegations, the LG has referred the matter to ACB. Strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty, the statement said. The LG, however, said that as the same e-PoS machines were proposed to be used for biometric authentication in the doorstep delivery scheme, it was not clear how the same issues would be addressed then.
LG Anil Baijal agreed to suspend the e-PoS system in the distribution of subsidised ration