Public Distribution System (PDS) scam in State re-surfaces in House
Itanagar, Aug 29: The infamous Public Distribution System (PDS) scam in Arunachal Pradesh re-surfaced in the State Assembly today with senior Nationalist Peoples’ Party (NPP) member Tapang Taloh questioning the government on the criteria of appointment of PDS nominees and alleged that a government employee had been appointed as one of the nominee.
Raising the issue during a half-an-hour discussion in the House, Taloh while alleging that another nominee is the wife of a sitting Minister and demanded him to resign from the post on moral ground. He, however, did not revealed the name of the minister.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to root out corruption through good governance but what is happening in Arunachal Pradesh is really unfortunate,” Taloh said and demanded for a fair enquiry into the matter which is already in public domain. He also suggested for constituting a committee to unearth the ground reality.
Responding to the charges, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kamlung Mossang informed the house that the department did not have any information regarding any government employee acting as PDS carriage contractor.
Giving a chronology of events, the Minister disclosed that during 2004, a PIL was filed in the Gauhati High Court by the chairman of Arunachal Citizens Right (ACR) and vice chairman of NEFA Indigenous Human Rights Organisation (NIHRO) against the private carriage contractors appointed by the state government.
“The period of misappropriation of PDS fund pertains to 2002-2004. As per the direction of the High Court, the Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the state police investigated the case and submitted the list of accused persons directly to the trial court at North Lakhimpur in Assam where trial is going on,” Mossang said. He added that a few government employees were charge-sheeted and the department would initiate appropriate action against them after the court pronounced its final verdict.