Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 28:
The Economic Survey Report-2014-15, presented in the Parliament on Friday, has ranked Odisha as the second state in the country in terms of black-marketing of wheat earmarked under the public distribution system (PDS).
Nearly 76 percent of the ration card holders of Odisha are deprived of PDS wheat, which is milled and sold by the black-marketers in the open market under various brands. The amount of PDS wheat black-marketed is around Rs 351 crore the earnings from which is shared by black-marketers, dealers and some government officials, the report added.
As per the survey report, Odisha receives 3,72,200 tonnes of PDS wheat per annum from the Centre with a subsidy of Rs 1237 per quintal to ensure food security for the poor.
However, of the total PDS wheat, ration card holders receive only 82,920 tonnes while the remaining 2,83, 379 tonnes goes the open market, it said.
Not only this, there has been rampant black-marketing in other PDS items like kerosene and rice as well.
The survey report says of the total volume of PDS kerosene received by the state every year, just 54 percent reached the poor while the rest 46 percent was black-marketed.
The Centre, with a subsidy of Rs 33.90 per litre of PDS kerosene priced at Rs 11, had provided 3,98,988 kilo litres (KL) to the state in 2011-12 of which 1,83,000 KL was sold in the open market at Rs 40-45 per litre by black-marketers.
The report has also stated that there has been a loot of 1,49,706 tonnes of PDS rice accounting for about Rs 242 crore.
While the Centre has provided a subsidy of Rs 1619 per quintal on PDS rice, the state government has been providing subsidy on rice under its Rs 1 a kg rice scheme with an annual expenditure of Rs 1400 crore.
There has been nine percent black-marketing of PDS rice in the state, the report said.
The gross amount of black-marketing of these PDS items would be around Rs 1000 crore, the survey report said, while recommending the Centre to cut down on the quota of these items to the state.