Investigate food grain scam

At least Rs. 67 crore worth food grains which were meant for the Government ration stores in Jammu and Kashmir have been found “missing” because some officials of the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs have made entire food grains their “own affair” by criminally siphoning it off to make fortunes immorally, unethically and unashamedly.
‘Excelsior’ has been as a routine, urging the dire need for more audits in sensitive departments followed by strictly monitoring ‘action taken report’ on the findings of the auditors through their reports and not to treat audit reports unattended, lightly. In the instant case, had the audit not been conducted by the auditors of the Accountant General’s office, most probably the scam engineered very craftily would have never come to light. It is found that as many as 2700 goods carriers including trawlers loaded with sugar, aatta, and rice in the years between 2014 and 2016 “went missing” across the state after leaving from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns as the State Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs officials are reported to have allegedly sold the entire stuff in the black market. It is noteworthy that the food items were meant for the needy including the flood victims of devastated floods of 2014 in Kashmir and parts of Jammu region. Top officials of the Food Supplies Department too are believed to be involved in the scam.
The modus operandi included manipulated registration numbers of the vehicles of private transporters involved in the act as provided by the State Road Transport Corporation for transportation of the food grains were verified and cross checked with the Regional Transport Offices Kashmir which were “shown” in the records but failed to match. This got further corroborated with sampled vouchers when matched with the type, specification or nature of vehicles actually registered with the RTO. Strangely, the scam-esters were emboldened to this extent so as to show scooters, motor cycles, three wheelers, cars, jeeps, LMVs of some state Government departments and tractors as “carriers”. Payments were made to these “vehicles”. In certain other cases, registration numbers of vehicles against which payments had been drawn, have yet not been allotted by the RTOs. This has led to misappropriation of funds on account of transportation charges alone of Rs. 42.42 lakh and siphoning of food grains of 1377 MT costing Rs. 29.95 crore.
Many a time we brought into the notice of the authorities of the Food Supplies Department about many ration depots remaining without stocks of rations for two to three months and ordinary consumers suffering while the goings on in the Department reveal food grains meant for public being sold in black market to earn money illegally by certain unscrupulous officials with criminal deception. The rot and the rut need a thorough remedy, a deterrent treatment and a speedy trial of the criminals besides having their immovable properties scrutinised as to the source of raising them in addition to terminating their services. Unless commissioning of fraud is met with quick, prompt and a suitable punishment, such incidents of loot and scoot would become the order of the day. By the way, a fraud of this massive proportion committed between 2014 and 2016 coming into limelight only in 2019 too needs a probe.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here