With all fingers pointed towards Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, has refuted the allegations of corruption saying there is no scam involved in the implementation of the Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) as alleged following the seizure of rice meant for the state in neighbouring Assam.
Addressing media persons on Tuesday, Sangma said this particular rice is not part of the NFSA or the rice meant for COVID-19 relief that is being given by the Government of India.
According to him, there has been a confusion that this rice is meant for COVID-19 relief and that it has been kept and diverted.
“However the fact is that all those rice materials for COVID-19 relief and NFSA have already been received in advance for the entire month of June,” Sangma added.
On the allegation that the one lakh bags of rice meant for the mothers and children have been seized in Assam, the chief minister however said this again is not correct.
He said that the Continental Milkose Pvt Ltd, which is an approved manufacturing supplier of micronutrient and energy-dense fortified foods under the SNP, has been supplying the products to the state in the first quarter of the current financial year.
“The complete supply of these micronutrient energy-dense fortified foods has already been received by the state,” Sangma informed.
“…saying that one lakh bags of rice were found is again incorrect because there was 1,604 metric tons which only accounts to 33,000 bags,” he further claimed.
Admitting that the rice is sourced from the Food Corporation of India, the chief minister said after the rice is processed and mixed with other nutrition items, it has to be packed and distributed to the children.
“Now this also is something which is regularly tested and regularly maintained and the supply and quality in the last many years…Therefore, these allegations regarding fortified food that there is some kind of supposedly a scam that is going on which is being pressed by some NGOs and Press is completely wrong,” he stated.
At the same time, the chief minister also urged the Press and NGOs to get all the facts before coming up with such stories to avoid confusion among the citizens of the state.
“(It) is something not healthy which in a way is also embarrassing for the Press and other organizations when they find out that there is no truth in this. Therefore, to avoid this kind of embarrassment, I would urge the press and other organizations to kindly ensure proper research is done before such stories come out in the news as there is no base of any kind of scam that is mentioned as everything that is done is being done as per the rules, norms and also as per the quality required by government of India,” he added.
Asked, Sangma said that the state government has asked the company to give an explanation on the entire incident.