‘Food supply contracts scrapped in MP to benefit RSS-linked NGOs’
The MP government has come under severe criticism from the Opposition for its decision to scrap the 12-year-old practice of contracting out the supply of nutritious food for anganwadis to private players and hand over the responsibility to NGOs.bhopal Updated: Sep 08, 2016 11:15 IST
The MP government has come under severe criticism from the Opposition for its decision to scrap the 12-year-old practice of contracting out the supply of nutritious food for anganwadis to private players and hand over the responsibility to NGOs.
The opposition parties alleged that the decision, taken by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday, was an attempt to promote and benefit the NGOs affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
Anganwadis are the government-sponsored child-care and mother-care centres. There are about 92,000 anganwadis across the state where nutritious food is being supplied by three private firms – MP Agro Nutri Food Ltd, MP Agro Food Industries Ltd and MP Agrotonics Limited –in collaboration with the state-run MP State Agro Industries Development Corporation Limited.
Women and child development minister Archana Chitnis has asked officials to create a new framework within the next 15 days. “The contract will now be given to self-help groups and NGOs operated by women. This will not only improve the quality of food but will also ensure employment for about 10 lakh women,” Chitnis said.
“We had found several irregularities during raids. This decision was taken after a directive from the Centre,” she added.
The principal secretary in the department, JN Kansautiya, however, told HT, “Why it happened, I cannot elaborate on that. The NGOs are yet to be decided upon.”
Slamming the move, Congress spokesperson Deepti Singh said, “This decision was certainly taken under an agenda. All these SHGs and NGOs are being operated by Sangh. The attempt is to give their own people as much profit as they can before the elections.”
Aam Aadmi Party state secretary Akshay Hunka said if government do not want the previous contractors to supply food, it could have invited other suppliers for the contract.