The Chhattisgarh legislative assembly’s budget session is scheduled to begin from Monday with the main opposition Congress devising strategies to corner the BJP-led government over alleged corruption in the public distribution system (PDS) and its “wrong” paddy procurement policy.
“The budget session will start with the address of Governor Balramji Das Tandon on March 2 at 11 am,” an assembly official said here today.
“It will have 23 sittings before it concludes on April 7. The state budget will be presented on March 9,” he said.
The main opposition Congress has decided to raise the issue of alleged corruption in the State Food and Civil Supply Department besides cornering the government over limiting its paddy procurement over its minimum support price scheme.
“Bribe money to the tune of crores of rupees was unearthed during recent raids by Anti-Corruption Bureau at the offices of Civil Supplies Corporation. The ruling BJP should present a white paper on the scam in the Civil Supplies Department on the floor of the house,” Leader of Opposition in the assembly T S Singhdeo told reporters.
“The ruling BJP has encouraged corruption in Markfed, the paddy procurement agency in the state and the Civil Supplies Corporation and failed to ensure a better PDS system. Farmers and poor families had to face the consequences of irregularities in paddy procurement and PDS,” Singhdeo alleged.
The quantity of paddy procured had drastically dropped in the current crop season in the state due to wrong policies of the state government, he further alleged.
“We will raise these issues in the assembly and also launch a foot march agitation along with farmers on March 11 from Balodabazar district and end it on March 16 by gheraoing the Vidhan Sabha (state secretariat) in Raipur,” he said.
Seventeen officials and employees of the state’s Civil Supplies Department, including manager of the Raipur-based headquarters of the Corporation and in-charge of the Public Distribution System Shivshankar Bhatt, were suspended last month after the seizure of unaccounted cash running into crores of rupees from different offices of the Corporation across state by the ACB.