Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has described the clearance given by the government to the Civil Supplies Corporation’s proposal to sell the excess stock of mid-day meal scheme rice through the Supplyco Maveli Stores to save godown space and avoid damage of the stock as a criminal offence. In a statement on Friday, Mr. Chandy said that if a private individual had done so, he could very well be sent to jail for it.

The Civil Supplies Department had issued the order clearing the sale on May 8. It allowed the sale of the rice supplied free by the Centre for the meal scheme at Rs.14 a kg in the place of the Rs.8.90 suggested by the Civil Supplies Corporation. The Corporation had suggested such a price as it wanted the rice to be distributed to the APL card holders. The order had been issued when the government was planning to go to Delhi for an anti-Centre stir against the slashing of rice quota for APL card holders.