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Flour distribution scheme likely to open floodgates of corruption in Punjab: Partap Bajwa

Chandigarh, October 1, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
Senior Congress Leader & Punjab’s Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday has condemned the Bhagwant Mann government for its ill conceived scheme of distributing wheat flour (Atta) at the doorstep of the beneficiaries.

Bajwa said he suspected the scheme floated by Bhagwant Mann government in a haste only to gain political mileage on the advice of big corporate houses.

It would only give rise to rampant corruption as private companies and the transporters would use this opportunity to make the most of it.

According to Bajwa the footprint of the corruption actually lied in Delhi where the Arvind Kejriwal government was already in the dock due to flawed and lopsided excise policy formulated under the influence of liquor lobby.

“ In the guise of this scheme the AAP government attempts to please the corporate houses while rendering more than 17,000 depot holders completely jobless”.

Bajwa said what was the need to pump in more than Rs. 500 crore only to distribute wheat flour, the process which was earlier well taken care of by the ration depots. “ It looks as if there are some private players close to the government of the day who are eager to make a quick buck out of this scheme”.

While hailing the timely intervention of the Punjab & Haryana High Court barring the Bhagwant Mann government from indulging into any misadventure Bajwa said the division bench headed by Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha on Friday had already restrained the Bhagwant Mann government from creating any third party interest with regard to distribution of the flour till October 17.

“ I just fail to understand the logic and the reason behind delivering the flour at the beneficiaries home when they were already getting the wheat from the fair price shops. Was there a public outcry for such a demand or it is just another gimmick to gain cheap publicity. It clearly shows that the objective behind such a move is only political and not the welfare of the poor sections of the society”, Bajwa said .

Bajwa said there were more than 17,000 depot holders who were already distributing wheat food grains to the poor beneficiaries from their respective registered fair price shops all across Punjab. “ Therefore the beneficiaries have been getting quality food grains at regular intervals in the past. So what has changed now ”, asked Bajwa.

With the introduction of this new distribution scheme the Punjab government would make thousands of fair price shop owners completely redundant. Besides the family members who were directly dependent for their livelihood on such fair price shops would also suffer to a huge extent.

Bajwa said moreover distributing wheat flour directly to the beneficiaries was also poorly conceived as amidst moist and humid weather it was bound to get infested with weevils, pantry beetles, and flour bugs. As a result of this contamination it will not be fit for human consumption as well”.

Bajwa said as per the previous scheme the consumers were free to get the wheat flour ground according to their need and requirement. “ Such an arrangement also benefited a large number of small time wheat grain grinders (Chakki Owners) instead of big time flour mills ”, said Bajwa.

Bajwa also criticized Bhagwant Mann for his failure to sustain the “Sadi Rasoi” scheme floated during the previous congress government.

“ This scheme provided a decent meal to poor sections of the society at just Rs. 10. And now the AAP government says it is financially not viable. It reveals the sorry state of affairs of the government as it fails to feed the poor and needy in such a meager amount . What kind of Aam Aadmi Party government is this which can not work for the benefit of the poor sections, asked Bajwa.

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