CBI carrying out surprise checks on FCI godowns in Punjab and Haryana
Central agency said to be carrying out checks after allegedly receiving a ‘large number of complaints’ about irregularities at FCI godowns in the two States.
January 29, 2021 / 02:45 PM IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been conducting surprise checks on Food Corporation of India godowns in Punjab and Haryana. The central investigative agency has conducted surprise checks on godowns at 20 locations in the two States, said sources.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, a source in the CBI said: “CBI has received a large number of complaints about irregularities in FCI godowns. Surprise checks have been conducted on FCI godowns as part of preventive vigilance.”
Another source told Moneycontrol: “CBI has received complaints of deliberate wastage of wheat in Punjab at FCI godowns.”
Wheat and rice are the main crops grown in the two States. There are always complaints of wheat not being stored properly in FCI godowns, leading to deterioration in its quality and rendering it unfit for consumption
“Wastage can be as high as 20 to 30 percent, because of wrong quality purchase of wheat with high moisture, damaged wheat, recycling of wheat given for PDS that has come back to FCI from traders, underweight trucks received as full-load trucks and old stocks of traders not suitable for retail trade sold as new stock but with a relaxation in quality standards in the name of helping farmers,” said agri expert Vijay Sardana.
“Unless the whole system is digitised, traceability with GPS is ensured, third-party audits are conducted and all warehouses are managed as mandated by SEBI and WDRA for commodity exchanges, it is difficult to control,” he added.
“Use of social media to seek feedback about low-quality supplies via PDS to citizens can help in tracing back the origin of bad wheat and may help in streamlining the system. Third-party quality checks of each lot and truck with truck numbers and all test reports of the FCI laboratory must be uploaded to the cloud server in real time so that Ministry can monitor what is going on,” Sardana added.