Quotes surveys by independent agencies
Guwahati: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday revealed, quoting reports of surveys conducted by independent agencies, that 100 per cent diversion in the case of wheat and 60 per cent diversion in rice meant for the public distribution system have been taking place in most of the northeastern States.
Mr. Pawar was speaking at a review meeting of the targeted public distribution system in the northeastern states.
Expressing serious concern over such huge leakage and diversion of PDS items, he urged the northeastern States to address the issue to plug the leakage.
States express reservations
"I am told the State governments have expressed reservations over these findings. However, surveys conducted by independent agencies have also revealed huge diversion of PDS items. The issue needs to be addressed with focused attention," he said.
He also underlined the need for the NE States to consider procuring foodgrains to be distributed under the public distribution system locally so that farmers could get support price and the transportation cost could be cut down. Besides, the cardholders also prefer local foodgrains instead of the items brought from outside their states, he pointed out.
About the steps initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Pawar said that stress have been given increasing storage capacity in the region to check the diversion of PDS goods.