Panaji: The Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) has castigated Goa government for the “infructuous expenditure of Rs 1.91 crore on procurement of tur dal” which was in excess to the required quantities to be distributed to the citizens.
The CAG 2021 report was tabled on the floor of the house during the monsoon session that culminated on Thursday. The report pointed out that State civil supplies department faced a loss of Rs 1.91 crore due to procurement of large quantity of tur dal without assessment of consumer demand and lifting capacity of Fair Price Shops in the state.
The report mentions that during COVID-19 pandemic, the department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (DCSCA) decided to provide relief to the total 2.04 lakh above poverty line and Annapurna ration card holders (ANP) by supplying one kg tur dal per cardholder for four months (April to July 2020) under Public Distribution System.
The CAG observed that the sale of 100 MT14 of tur dal was planned through the Goa State Horticultural Corporation Limited (GSHCL), while the remaining tur dal was to be sold through Fair Price Shops (FPS).
Accordingly, DCSCA placed an order with National
Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) on March 30, 2020 for supply of 800 MT of tur dal at Rs 79,000 per metric tonnes, the report mentions.
The CAG has written that though the Secretary, DCSCA had granted (08/04/2020) post-facto Administrative approval and Expenditure sanction of Rs 6.80 crore for procurement of 800 MT, the Government of Goa in its Cabinet meeting held on April 22, 2020 resolved to distribute 408 MT tur dal, one kg per card for a period of two months (April and May 2020).
The NAFED supplied 400 MT of tur dal, out of which only 139.57 MT (34.23 per cent) was lifted by during April-May 2020, it adds.
Despite further extensions till September 2020, only 16.42 MT of the balance 260.43 MT was lifted by FPS. The reason for low off-take being poor response from ration card holders, the report mentions.
Goa government’s corporation like Goa State Horticulture Corporation Limited refused to lift the tur dal and supply to the consumers.
The CAG pointed out that the Education Department agreed to lift the entire 241.21MT for distribution under Mid-day meal scheme.
However quality check carried out by the Food and Drugs Administration at the behest of the Secretary, Civil Supplies revealed (November 2020) that the entire quantity of tur dal was “unsafe food”, the CAG observed.
Efforts to dispose off the tur dal as ingredients for cattle/poultry feed did not fructify as the tur dal was not suitable even for that as per the report of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the CAG mentions.