Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that IT raids on contractor for alleged tax evasion did not indicate irregularities in the egg procurement.

TN Min slams BJPs Pon Radhakrishnan for smear campaign on egg procurement File image- PTI
news Politics Monday, July 16, 2018 - 10:43

The Tamil Nadu government warned those who indulge in spreading misinformation about egg procurement for mid-day meal scheme in government schools. 

According to reports, Minister for Fisheries D Jayakumar said that levelling baseless allegations must stop immediately. He was referring to the Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan, who had alleged a ‘Rs 5000 crore scam’ in the procurement of eggs for schools by the Tamil Nadu government. 

D Jayakumar also added that the Income Tax department had raided the premises of the contractor of eggs for alleged tax evasion but it did not mean there were irregularities in supplying eggs to the schools.

On July 5, the Income Tax Department carried out raids on Christy Group, which is the monopoly egg supplier for the TN government. 

Following this, the company’s bid for the next year’s egg supply has been rejected by the government. 

Four years ago, major irregularities were exposed by Times of India in the government’s egg procurement process, where the procurement price was much higher that the retail price of the eggs. The Karnataka government, around the same time, had blacklisted Christy Group from supplying pulses to the government, as per reports in Times of India.

Venkatachalam, who was instrumental in convincing the state government to introduce eggs in the mid-day meals in schools told the Times of India that the scheme was introduced to uplift the livelihoods of the poultry farmers in Namakkal district.  

“Farmers are badly hit today because the contractor has slashed procurement price unilaterally. Contractors must be removed and the government should directly procure from farmers,” he said.

It was only a few days ago that the TN government rejected the bids of six companies due to lapses in submitting supporting documents.  

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