Didi’s ~2/kg rice scheme un­der Cen­tre’s scan­ner

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KOLKATA:West Ben­gal chief min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee’s pet project, Khadya Sathi (Food Part­ner), un­der which ra­tion card hold­ers are en­ti­tled to two kg of rice per week per head at ₹2 per kg, has come un­der the Cen­tre’s lens.

BK Gupta, a di­rec­tor in the Union food and sup­plies min­istry, wrote to state food and sup­plies sec­re­tary Manoj Ku­mar Agar­wal on Tues­day that the Cen­tre has de­cided to con­duct a sur­vey of the scheme to find out whether its ben­e­fits reached de­serv­ing peo­ple.

The let­ter stated the Union gov­ern­ment de­cided to eval­u­ate the trans­parency of op­er­a­tions as 60% of the funds for the project came from the Cen­tre. The sur­vey will be con­ducted by an in­de­pen­dent agency and not by any agency un­der the Cen­tre or state’s con­trol, the let­ter reads.

Ben­gal food and sup­plies min­is­ter Jy­otipriyo Mul­lick, how­ever, rub­bished the Cen­tre’s de­ci­sion, say­ing, “Khadya Sathi is a pet project of the chief min­is­ter and the en­tire cost is borne by the state gov­ern­ment.”

He ac­cused the BJP-led cen­tral gov­ern­ment of “un­nec­es­sary in­ter­fer­ence” in the state’s project. Mul­lick said he was yet to read the let­ter. “I will have a look at it and de­cide on the course of ac­tion af­ter dis­cussing the mat­ter with the CM. We are not at­tach­ing much im­por­tance to the let­ter.”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) na­tional sec­re­tary, Rahul Sinha, won­dered why the state gov­ern­ment was get­ting ag­i­tated over the sur­vey if it was con­fi­dent about trans­parency in the project. “It is the na­ture of Tri­namool Congress to ob­ject to any pos­i­tive step by the Union gov­ern­ment,” said Sinha.

Ma­mata Ban­er­jee

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