MARGAO: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has rubbished allegations of ‘plastic’ rice being supplied through PDS by saying that it would be costlier to prepare plastic rice than produce authentic rice.
“It is fortified rice. As per policy, one bag of fortified rice is mixed in one bag of regular rice; spoilt rice is being replaced by the departmen,” said CM Sawant
He further said that Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) was told to investigate the claim regarding plastic rice, and the report does not show the presence of plastic rice mixed with regular rice.
Sawant also urged the MLAs to exercise restraint and caution to avoid confusion in the minds of the consumers.
“I was 110 per cent sure that there’s no plastic rice mixed with normal rice for the simple reason that it would cost huge money to develop the plastic rice when the normal rice is available cheap in the market. But, still, I told the FDA to conduct the probe, and it has ruled out plastic rice,” he said.
He also sarcastically dismissed allegations of plastic found in rice by saying, “Production and supply of plastic rice are expensive.”
“There may be one or two sacks out of the thousands of rice sacks that could have some quality issues, but that did not mean all the rice supplied was bad,” Sawant said.
Food Corporation of India(FCI) has tested the rice samples from the fair price shop at Benaulim, which allegedly supplied ‘plastic’ rice to ration card holders, and certified that it is contamination free, said Secretary Civil Supplies Sanjit Rodrigues
Similar ‘plastic’ rice allegations have been raised in many other states as regards fortified rice, and FCI and other Govt of India agencies have clarified the issue before, he added. The department will take up information, Education & communication (IEC) initiatives to create awareness over this, he said.