Ration distribution scam: Ration distributors also under investigation by ED, list is being prepared

Kolkata, Amit Sharma: Enforcement Directorate (ED) and former Forest Minister in ration distribution scam in West Bengal Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallik And businessman Bakibul Rehman alias Bakibur, considered close to him, has already been arrested. Both are currently in judicial custody. As the ED investigation is progressing, new revelations are also being made. Apart from the owners of rice mills and flour mills close to the minister, now some ration distributors and owners of ration shops are also under the scanner of ED. According to sources, during the investigation, ED has come to know that some such ration distributors are being detected in the state, who themselves are also ration dealers or owners of ration shops.

Apart from this, the matter of taking ration dealership through fake means is also coming to light. It is suspected that the scam was carried out through a chain of fake ration shops and the number of such shops could be more than 300, whose ration licenses were only on paper and had no physical presence. It is being told that the Central Investigation Agency is now busy in preparing a list to identify such ration distributors. Some ration distributors have also been questioned in this matter. ED has already claimed that farmers have been cheated on a large scale through agents, in which some cooperative societies have also played a role. Through them, bank accounts were opened in the names of fake farmers.

Instead of farmers, the owners of rice mills pocketed Rs 200 per quintal of paddy in this entire scam. On the other hand, apart from the owners of rice mills, the agents involved in the scam and officials associated with cooperative societies also amassed black money on a large scale. With the help of agents, the owners of the rice mills involved in the scam had opened bank accounts in the names of fake farmers. First, paddy was purchased from genuine farmers at a lower price by disregarding the government rules i.e. by ignoring the Minimum Support Price (MSP). After this, money was deposited in the bank accounts opened in the name of fake farmers to show it in the government account.

In which it was shown that paddy was purchased from those fake farmers on the basis of MSP. Later, the amount deposited in the bank accounts of fake farmers was also transferred to shell companies. It has come to light that about 30 percent of the PDS ration is being sold illegally in the open market. Seven EDs estimate that the amount of the scam will cross Rs 1,000 crore.

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