Ministers, elected representatives and officials should ensure continuous monitoring and distribution of quality commodities to people under the harvest festival 'Pongal' hamper scheme, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said here on Sunday.
Stalin said he inspected distribution of the gift bags at fair price shops to beneficiaries and the scheme has a huge public response, a grand welcome from people. In view of false and malicious propaganda by some people in respect of the commodities and its distribution, the Chief Minister said Ministers, elected representatives and officials should ensure continuous monitoring and distribution of quality commodities to the beneficiaries.
On January 4, Stalin gave away Pongal hampers to beneficiaries here marking the roll out of the scheme across Tamil Nadu. Raw rice, jaggery, cashew, resin, cardamom, moong dhal, ghee, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander, mustard, cumin, pepper, tamarind, Bengal gram, urad dhal, rava, wheat flour, salt are the 19 essential commodities packed in a cloth bag in addition to a full sugarcane piece (In total, 21 items).
The state-wide distribution is aimed at benefiting over 2 crore families (rice category ration card holders) at an estimated cost of Rs 1,296.88 crore.
Following the launch of the festival gift distribution scheme, AIADMK Joint Coordinator and Leader of Opposition K Palaniswami had alleged that sub-standard commodities were being given away to people. Insects were found in wheat flour and jaggery is also sub-standard, the AIADMK leader had alleged and showed video clips of people making such allegations.