Tamil Nadu: Plea against Sri Lanka rice aid at high rate
A petition has been filed in Madras High Court alleging that the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to send rice to crisis-hit Sri Lanka by purchasing directly from state millers instead of approaching the Centre for subsidised grain had caused a loss of Rs 54 crore.
The PIL has urged the court to scrap the proposal and direct the authorities concerned to take steps to purchase the rice through the Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in New Delhi.
The PIL, also praying for a direction to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to conduct an inquiry, came up for hearing on Thursday.
A vacation bench of Justices G.R. Swaminathan and Senthil Kumar Ramamurthy posted it after the summer vacation so as to enable the authorities concerned to file their counter-affidavits.
According to petitioner A. Jaishankar of Tiruvarur, chief minister M.K. Stalin announced in the Assembly on April 29 that 40,000 tonnes of rice would be provided to Sri Lanka to help the citizens who are facing acute hardships.
The Tamil Nadu civil supply corporation on May 5 submitted a proposal to the finance and consumer and co-operative departments to grant permission to purchase the rice. It was stated in the government agreed to buy the rice at Rs 33.50 per kilo from millers and sanctioned Rs 134 crore.