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Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Piyush Goyal over 'plastic rice' rumour in Odisha

New Delhi: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday wrote to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Distribution Piyush Goyal seeking his investigation on rumours of 'plastic rice' distribution in Odisha and steps to create awareness on supply of fortified rice under Public Distribution System (PDS).
Under the "Garib Kalyan" philosophy of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, your Ministry has undertaken the commendable effort to ensure food security to crores of people across the country through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). Pradhan said Odisha is one of the major beneficiaries of the scheme with approx 3.25 crore people availing of food grains under the scheme. Most of the beneficiaries avail rice, as it is the staple diet of people in Odisha.
Referring to media reports, the Union Minister said the rice getting by the people in Lamataput of Koraput, Sadar Block of Balasore and Badabahal of Sundergarh district of Odisha presently is different from the rice they used to get in PDS Shop earlier.
"They have reported that some of the rice kernels float when soaked in water and appear very white and sticky when cooked. When eaten, they do not have their usual taste and remains intact despite chewing. Rumours have been fueled this rice is 'plastic rice' and are being supplied in PDS. This has led to fear and apprehension regarding the PDS rice in the region, and many beneficiaries are worried that the rice will have an adverse impact on their health," Pradhan said.
"I am informed that a fortified rice which is mix of fortified rice kernels (FRK) and normal rice is being given under the PDS since January for added nutrients like folic acid, iron and vitamin B-12," he said.
However, the texture and taste of this new rice might have created confusion and apprehension amongst the beneficiaries. It is imperative that such apprehensions be investigated and quelled in a proactive manner by the Civil Supplies Department, Pradhan said.
"Therefore, I am writing to seek your intervention in directing officials of your Ministry to investigate the issues and apprehensions that beneficiaries are having regarding the PDS rice and undertake suitable measures to spread awareness about the supply of fortified rice in PDS on an urgent," Pradhan urged. (ANI)

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