Ration dealers in West Bengal have complained about improper commission under the free ration delivery schemes, announced by both the Central and the State Governments, since the COVID-19 imposed lockdown began.
As per calculations, the dealers were supposed to get Rs 70 for each quintal of wheats, grains and pulses they delivered. However, they have complained that there had been no earning on grains for the last seven months, reported Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin.
The dealers have blames a nationalised bank for not earning anything on delivering grains. Unable to get their deserving shares, the All India Fair Price Shop Dealers Federation (AIFPSD) wrote a complaint letter to Mamata Banerjee’s and to State Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallick’s office.
Despite the food department’s regular allocation of funds for rations, the banks did not allow the flow of that funds to their desired destination, alleged the angered ration dealers.
“We have information from the office that our shares of the fund are regularly transferred to the bank. Instead of forwarding that to us, the bank is investing the money elsewhere,” AIFPSD general secretary Biswambhu Basu was quoted as saying by the Bengali daily.
Reportedly, among a total of 20,780 ration dealers in the state, only 25% have received their commisions. The rest have recieved nothing and that is what the dealers have mentioned in their complaint to the CM and the food minister.
In between this heated situation, news has come out that the Central Government will not be sending free rations from November, enraging the dealers further.
New Delhi has informed Kolkata that due to the latter’s failure of a proper and advance assessment of how much rations was delivered in the month of September, the Central Government has decided not to provide West Bengal with free rations anymore.
According to the Centre’s complaint, the West Bengal government was asked to give an advance estimation by August end of how much wehats, grains and pulsed would be required in September. Without paying any heed to its demand, Mamata Banerjee administration updated the calculation only at the end of September.
This is what has infuriated the BJP-led Central Government. Due to their latest decision, West Bengal will miss more than 952 metric tonnes of rations.