Karnataka Health Minister Ramesh Kumar on Friday said reports about ‘plastic’ rice and sugar being sold, including under public distribution system, will be thoroughly investigated. Replying to a question in the legislative assembly, the minister expressed doubts about the reports of the items being sold and sought time till Monday to find out facts behind it.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Opposition BJP leader Jagdish Shettar said there are reports about plastic rice being found in what is being distributed under PDS and government’s popular ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme, and demanded a thorough inquiry and action in this regard. Shettar said such reports, even if it is a rumour, would cause panic among the public as these items are consumed every day. He said the government should soon get them tested and inform people about the genuineness of such reports.
Responding, Ramesh Kumar said the government has come to know about such incidents from the media and officials have been asked to look into them. Noting that scientists have said such a thing is not possible, he said, “adulteration I can understand, but plastic we are hearing for the first time.” “It is also costly, so why will anyone do it,” he questioned.
Stating that he will not take the “risk” of rejecting the reports straightaway as false, the minister said the government will get things examined. He said “by Monday I will get hold of the information and will report it to the House. We will also conduct a thorough inquiry on the possibility of plastic and reasons behind it.” The minister said the government will also look into whether the reports are based on mere “gossips” that had been floated by someone with wrong intentions.
Intervening, Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader said the presence of plastic rice was not possible in the rice supplied under government’s ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme, as rice for this purpose is being procured from Food Corporation of India.