1,490 people booked for PDS rice-smuggling, TN govt tells HC
Chennai, Dec 8 (PTI): The Tamil Nadu government has
informed the Madras High Court that 442 government officials
and 1,490 other individuals have been booked and detained in
the past 10 years for PDS rice-smuggling.
"Out of the 1,490, 131 have been detained more than once
under the Prevention of Blackmarketing and Maintenance of
Supplies of Essential Commodities Act.
This includes 15 people detained more than thrice," said
Principal Secretary, Co-operation, Food and Consumer
Protection Department Dayanand Kataria.
Kataria made the submission through an affidavit in
response to a series of queries raised by a division bench of
Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose in connection with
The court had on October 1 directed the Additional
Public Prosecutor to file a report on the loss caused to the
exchequer and the steps against those smuggling rice.
The court had given the direction while disposing of a
Habeas Corpus Petition by a woman, challenging her husband's
detention under the Prevention of Black Marketing and
Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.
The official also informed the court Saturday that as of
September 2018, 1.88 crore family cardholders have been
getting free rice.
The quantity of rice allotted for January 2018 to October
2018 was 32,27,200 metric tonnes, he added.
The value of rice distributed to ration card holders
for 2017-18 was approximately Rs 2,110 crore and the number of
cardholders was rising every month owing to splitting and
increasing of families, he said.
On the existing mechanism to check rice smuggling, he
submitted that after implementation of end-to-end
computerisation of PDS, proper mechanism was available to
verify distribution of essential commodities to cardholders.
Every transaction in fair price shops was carried out
through an internet-enabled Point of Sale device. All
transactions were done through smart family cards, which is a
unique family code and a QR code, the official said.
Once the transaction was complete, details of the
transaction reaches the registered mobile number of the card
holders as a SMS immediately, he said.
PTI COR NVG
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