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Karnataka moves to stem diversion of PDS foodgrains

The state government has come up with a new measure to keep track of the vehicles carrying foodgrains. It has decided to install the Global Positioning System (GPS) in all trucks. The move comes in the wake of complaints of foodgrains meant for distribution under the Public Distribution System (PDS) being diverted to the black market.

Minister for food and civil supplies Dinesh Gundurao told reporters here at the weekend said, with the use of GPS, the officials can get signals on the movement of the trucks and ensure that the foodgrains reach the designated ration shops. The GPS installation will begin shortly, he added.

On the rumour about Cabinet expansion, Rao said, reshuffling of the state cabinet and induction of more MLAs into the Cabinet will take place soon after the by-polls. However, he refused to comment on the new ministers to be inducted into the Cabinet saying it was the prerogative of the chief minister.

On Samaj Parivarthan Samudaya chief S R Hiremath’s allegations regarding land grab, Rao stated that no illegalities or criminalities as alleged by Hiremath had taken place during the purchase of land. “The matter is pending before the court and as per the court’s directions, further measures would be taken,” he asserted.

He also refuted allegations that the Congress high command had sought a report from the chief minister on the alleged land grab.

When quizzed on the proposed Hero Honda plant coming up in Dharwad, Rao said an high-level committee meeting with officials chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was held at Bangalore a week ago.

“The representatives of the Hero Honda company have sought 125% exemption on various taxes including stamp duty. However, the government has promised them a 90% tax exemption. The officials of the company have been given time to honour the government’s proposal and set up their plant in Dharwad,” he added.

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