Official denies cash stolen from Pongal gift hampers

As a video of an alleged public distribution system (PDS) employee claiming that he possessed the cash from undistributed Pongal gift hampers surfaced on Thursday, the Civil Supplies Department denied possibilities of stealing cash from the gifts.

The video, which was widely shared on social media platforms on Thursday, shows a man admitting that he allegedly possessed the cash from six Pongal gift packs that were undistributed. M. Nandagopal, DMK Ward Secretary of Ward No. 52, claimed that the man was working in a fair price shop located at Aranmanai Pudur. “We are going to petition the Collector about this,” Mr. Nandagopal said.

M. Murugan, District Supply Officer of the Civil Supplies Department, told The Hindu that the distribution procedure was foolproof as details of the individual gift packs distributed were entered in the PDS website. The fair price shops were mandated to return the undistributed gift packages to the District Supplies Office, he said.

“The packages were distributed more in rural areas than in the city,” he said as some fair price shops in the city had over 10 unclaimed gift packages. “We distributed the gifts till January 21,” Mr. Murugan said.

The Pongal gift hamper, which was given to rice cardholders prior to the festival, comprised ₹ 1,000 cash, 1 kg each of rice and sugar, 20 grams each of cashew and raisins, five grams of cardamom and a piece of sugarcane.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:21:11 AM |

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