In view of the Covid crisis, the state government has announced the distribution of free kits in Kerala. The distribution of free food kits has helped the CPM to some extent to achieve a glorious victory in the local body elections despite the controversies.
However, the free kit distribution is reported to be out of track. 32.5 lakh cardholders did not get free kit distribution in November and December last year. It is learned that the kit was delayed due to shortage of atta, coconut oil and groundnuts.
Eight of the 11 items in the free kit distributed by the Pinarayi government through Supplyco were recently found to be inedible. The RTI reply from Supplyco revealed the details of the non-edible items. The 31 loads of jaggery delivered to 19 depots in the state including Alappuzha, Thaliparambu, Kozhikode and Sultan Bathery were not edible. Supplyco said it had decided to impose a one-year ban and a fine on suppliers for supplying substandard jaggery.
It has decided to ban and fine those who distribute bad pappadam in 16 depots for three months. However, it is clear from the RTI that the authorities have not taken any action against other suppliers who distributed bad goods including sugar. The inspection found that six loads of sugar brought in six depots, three loads of chickpeas delivered in three depots, three batches of sambar powder and one batch of chilli powder in each load of pulses and lentils were substandard.