Tur dal procurement caused loss of Rs 1.91 crore to Goa exchequer: CAG report

Panaji, Aug 11 (IANS): The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled up the Goa government over loss of Rs 1.91 crore due to procurement of large quantities of tur dal without assessment of consumer demand and lifting capacity of Fair Price Shops.

The tur dal wastage issue had come to light in August 2022 after the government had issued advertisements seeking bidders to dispose of it.

The CAG-2021 report, tabled in the house during the monsoon session that culminated on Thursday, said: "During Covid-19 pandemic, Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (DCS&CA) decided to provide relief to the 2.04 lakh Above Poverty Line (APL) and Annapurna (ANP) ration card holders through supply of one kg tur dal for four months (April to July 2020) under Public Distribution System."

"Sale of 100 MT of tur dal was planned through the Goa State Horticultural Corporation Ltd (GSHCL), while the remaining tur dal was to be sold through Fair Price Shops (FPS). Accordingly, Civil Supply Department had placed an order with National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) for supply of 800 MT of tur dal.

It noted that though the Secretary, DCS&CA had granted post-facto administrative approval and expenditure sanction of Rs 6.80 crore for procurement of 800 MT, the Goa government, in its Cabinet meeting (22/04/2020) resolved to distribute 408 MT tur dal, one kg per card for a period of two months (April and May 2020).

NAFED had supplied 400 MT of tur dal, out of which only 139.57 MT (34.23 per cent) was lifted by FPS during April-May 2020, while only 16.42 MT of the balance 260.43 MT was lifted by FPS.

The reason for low off-take was poor response from ration card holders, the report said.

GSHCL refused to lift the tur dal as they were procuring polished dal from the open market at Rs 73/kg, which was preferred by consumers, as against the partially polished tur dal supplied by DCS&CA at a higher price of Rs 80/kg. Thereafter, the Education Department agreed to lift the remaining entire 241.21 MT for distribution under the Mid-Day Meal scheme.

However, a quality check carried out by the Food and Drugs Administration at the behest of the Secretary, Civil Supplies revealed that the entire quantity of tur dal was “unsafe food”.

Efforts to dispose off the tur dal as ingredients for cattle/poultry feed did not fructify as the tur dal was not suitable even for that as per the report of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

The audit noticed that before taking up procurement, the Department failed to assess the demand, including consumer preference for polished dal.



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Title: Tur dal procurement caused loss of Rs 1.91 crore to Goa exchequer: CAG report

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