Barring last-minute hurdles,pulses are all set to be part of the food security scheme in Haryana. They were part of the supplies being provided under the scheme but are yet to reach beneficiaries because of a legal tangle and departmental formalities over procurement. The pulses will cost the state exchequer an additional
Rs 225 crore.
While the scheme will reach almost half of the state,pulses,however,will only be given to below poverty line (BPL) families and Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) families. They will cost the government an average Rs 62 per kg and will be supplied to the beneficiaries at Rs 20 per kg. They are to be distributed to 12.84 lakh beneficiaries through fair price shops of the food and supply department with each family set to get two-and-a-half kg of pulses every month.
The food security scheme was launched in Haryana on August 20 but the state faced an unexpected problem after one of the bidders to provide pulses approached court alleging bias. The bidder claimed that the government did not open his bid and handed the order to another supplier.
Actually,the bids of this particular supplier were not opened because he was unfit on the standard parameters of the department. So we decided to consider the remaining suppliers. However,the petition was later withdrawn by the supplier because rates of pulses got varied in the open market by then. Since the previously selected bidder was still ready to provide pulses at the same rate,the order was placed, Confed chairman,Bajrang Das Garg told The Indian Express adding that pulses have already been sent to districts for distribution.
Sources said that efforts to get bids for bulk supply for a longer duration has become a major hurdle for the department as prices of the pulses vary on a day-to-day basis. As per a rough estimate,the government will require about 3,000 metric tonne pulses for one-time supply.
We should be giving pulses that have been due for the last two months as supplies have reached all the district headquarters. We have covered nearly 60 per cent of the target. We hope that the supplies are distributed to beneficiaries before the end of this month, said a senior officer attached to the distribution of pulses. He admitted that it was not easy to get the process done as it requires huge work force to complete the task. The government is distributing these supplies through the ration depots. The government is already on a slippery wicket in the matter of identifying beneficiaries and glaring discrepancies in the process has put it in an embarrassing situation after one of its own MLAs Venod Sharma took it on over the matter. He had alleged that food and supplies department has bungled in identification of priority households and had drastically reduced their number.
Confed chairman Garg,however,said that the government was doing a double check. There is not much of possibility of any discrepancy as these beneficiaries are already identified and are on our register of fair price shops, he said.