Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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CM pulls up Food Commissioner over cancellation of 2.93 lakh ration cards

21 Aug 2018 | 12:30 AM

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken strong exception to the decision of the Food Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh to go ahead with the cancellation of around 2.93 lakh ration cards despite the minister’s strong objections.

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken strong exception to the decision of the Food Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh to go ahead with the cancellation of around 2.93 lakh ration cards despite the minister’s strong objections.

The government terming the move without any “justified ground and inspection” has warned of disciplinary action against the officers concerned for the defiance.

In April, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain had conveyed his strong objections to the move alleging that Singh was bent on cancelling three lakh ration cards without carrying out proper verification.

The minister had in May directed the Food Commissioner to restore supply of ration to those who have not received it from January to March.

However, the commissioner has rubbished all allegations arguing the names of 2.48 lakh ration card holders who failed to meet the eligibility criteria have been deleted after following “due process of law”. The supply of ration has been stopped to all those households by the department subsequently.

In course, Singh claimed the department has “helped save crores of government’s rupees from pilferage” by the exercise adding while on the other hand his recommendation to the government for getting back the electronic point of sale system has been put on hold.

But, the Kejriwal government senses a “conspiracy” in the act of defiance to deny ration to the poor at the behest of the Central government.

In a statement issued the government said, “Since these officers do not report to the elected government, therefore they are working against the interests of the people of Delhi, which is a very serious matter.”

“The department officers have failed to appreciate the adverse social impact of cancellation of 2.93 lakh odd ration cards covering more than 10 lakh beneficiaries. All such families and members in one go would be rendered hungry because of the insensitive, apathetic, hostile, inhuman attitude of the officers,” it added.

The government stated that the cancellation process has been undertaken without door-to-door survey of households.

The cancellation is being done by officers sitting in their offices without any field inspection and without following due process of law. Such acts of commission or omission make the acts of public servants suspicious. Their conduct may invite disciplinary action against the officers concerned, it added.

The development indicates another round of tussle between the AAP government and the city’s bureaucracy.

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