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1,490 people booked for PDS rice-smuggling, TN govt tells HC

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

: The government has informed the that 442 government officials and 1,490 other individuals have been booked and detained in the past 10 years for PDS rice-smuggling.

"Out of the 1,490, 131 have been detained more than once under the Prevention of Blackmarketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act.

This includes 15 people detained more than thrice," said Principal Secretary, Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Department Dayanand Kataria.

Kataria made the submission through an affidavit in response to a series of queries raised by a division bench of Justices N and in connection with rice-smuggling.

The court had on October 1 directed the Additional Public Prosecutor to file a report on the loss caused to the exchequer and the steps against those smuggling rice.

The court had given the direction while disposing of a Habeas Corpus Petition by a woman, challenging her husband's detention under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.

The also informed the court Saturday that as of September 2018, 1.88 crore family cardholders have been getting free rice.

The quantity of rice allotted for January 2018 to October 2018 was 32,27,200 metric tonnes, he added.

The value of rice distributed to ration card holders for 2017-18 was approximately Rs 2,110 crore and the number of cardholders was rising every month owing to splitting and increasing of families, he said.

On the existing mechanism to check rice smuggling, he submitted that after implementation of end-to-end computerisation of PDS, proper mechanism was available to verify distribution of essential commodities to cardholders.

Every transaction in fair price shops was carried out through an internet-enabled Point of Sale device. All transactions were done through smart family cards, which is a unique family code and a QR code, the said.

Once the transaction was complete, details of the transaction reaches the registered mobile number of the card holders as a immediately, he said.

Recording the submission, the bench reserved its order.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 08 2018. 22:01 IST