According to the allegations levelled by the Businessmen in Nabarangpur district, District Collector Rashmita Panda had sought funds from them to run Odisha Government’s much hyped Rs 5 ‘Aahar’ scheme.
According to sources, a few weeks ago, the District Collector had called a meeting of Contractors’ Association, Truck Owners’ Association, Bus Owners’ Association, Chamber of Commerce, Rice Millers’ Association, Cashew Millers’ Association, Wine Shop Owners’ Association and others.
At the meeting, the Collector highlighted the positive sides of Rs 5 Aahar scheme and sought everyone’s cooperation to run it. She allegedly fixed Rs 3 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for each association depending on their strength and financial abilities. It is also reported that senior government officials have also been asked to pay specified funds towards the scheme.
The issue has snowballed into a major controversy, as the opposition Congress took up the issue and asked the BJD Government to clarify on it. People believe that such a step would lead to rampant corruption and the business would seek favours from the government in many cases in lieu of their support. The middle class will bear the brunt, they feel.
Meanwhile, Commerce & Transport Minister and Nabarangpur BJD President Ramesh Chandra Majhi has clarified that he is not aware of any such decision.