Sugar Scam Brewing: Low Grade sugar supplied to Valley consumers

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SRINAGAR: People across Kashmir Valley are complaining that Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CA&PD) is supplying low-grade sugar at ration depots. Consumers allege that low quality sugar is being distributed at Ration Depots, which is not fit for human consumption at all.

A CA&PD official on condition of anonymity revealed that good quality sugar (S-30/31 ISS Grade) is available on papers only. “The CAPD documents reveal that high quality sugar is being procured from Mumbai based company but in reality low grade sugar comes from the company and the ‘margin money’ goes into the coffers of company and CAPD top officials,” he said.

Explaining the situation the official said: “On papers we ask a company to supply good quality cricket bat for Rs 100. However  orally you communicate the same company to supply lower quality bat for Rs 50. The difference is Rs 50 which department and the company officials distribute between themselves. Now imagine, if the company supplies you lacs of cricket bats, how huge will be the margin and how rich you will become within days,” the official said.

CAPD documents reveal that the department had given supply order of sugar S-30/31 ISS Grade to Mumbai based company. The order vide number 01 (Plg) DCAPDK of 2013 reads, “please arrange supply of sugar S-30/31 ISS Grade to the tune of 25812 metric tons at the rate of Rs 38400 per metric ton (total value of order Rs 99,11,76,960) approved by the State Level Purchase Committee (SLPC) to the CAPD Department Kashmir Division.”

Interestingly, the order reads that, “the supply should be free from artificial colour, confirming to fresh season crop not earlier than 2012 production free flowing and sparkling white.”

Reports said that nowhere in Valley consumers are getting such a high quality sugar which CAPD claims of procuring from the Mumbai based company.

“First of all there is scarcity of sugar. Now if you will get sugar from any depot that is not fit for consumption,” is a general complaint.

When contacted, CAPD Minister, Choudhri Muhammad Ramzan said that there is a proper section which checks the quality control of the sugar. “I can tell you with authority that high quality sugar is supplied to consumers at all ration depots,” minister claimed.

Director CAPD, Mushtaq Ahmed Mir said that they are supplying the best quality sugar to people. “We verify the quality of sugar in laboratory before we distribute it to ration depots,” Mir said. (CNS)

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