Saturday, February 5, 2011

Food scams claim two ministers in Orissa in a decade

Exactly a decade after the sacking of a minister from the Naveen Patnaik government in Orissa over alleged irregularities in supply of food items to schools and anganwadi centres, another minister of Women and Child Development Department quit the post today.

Pramila Mallick was the second Women and Child Development Minister in the state after Kamala Das to have faced the music for supply of substandard quality food items.

While Das was sacked from the ministry by Patnaik over the fortified salt scam in 2001, Mallick had to resign from the post in the wake of a multi-crore dal scam.

Das was involved in a Rs 2-crore salt scam and the amount involved in the dal scam over which Mallick had to step down was to the tune of Rs 700 crore.

Das had been convicted by a Special Vigilance Court for entering into a criminal conspiracy with a private salt supplying firm. She was accused of obtaining pecuniary benefit by illegal and corrupt means using her official position.

Investigation by the state's anti-corruption Vigilance Department had meanwhile, detected supply of substandard pulses to schools and anganwadi centres.

WCD set up in 1995, was the nodal agency to supply dal, salt, rice and condiments to grass root level for mid-day-meal, supplementary nutrition programme and emergency feeding programme.

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