The Income Tax department started to conduct surprise raids on goods suppliers to Public Distribution System (PDS) shops in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The raids are mainly conducted on the suppliers of palm oil and pulses to PDS shops in the state.
According to a report, the officials are raiding 40 places linked to five groups--Arunachalam Impex in Mannady, Kamatchi Group of Companies in Tondaiyarpet, Hira Traders, Best Dhall Mill and Integrated Services Group--in Tamil Nadu.
The raids come after official sources doubt that this is a case of tax evasion by the suppliers of pulses and palm oil.
Earlier, the state ran into a controversy in connection with the gift hampers distributed by the state for Pongal. Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin ordered to the blacklist of the contractors who were responsible for producing Pongal gift hampers for TNPDS due to complaints regarding the substandard conditions of the products.
The public had complained about the substandard quality of rice, jaggery and other items in the hamper. Some of them even complained that certain items were missing from the hamper.
AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam also accused the DMK government of wasting over Rs 1,250 crore spent for the 'substandard' Pongal gift hamper. The state had allocated Rs 1,296 crore for the hampers.
In a release, Stalin earlier said, "The government issued procurement norms to ensure the quality of the products and provided prescribed quantity for distributing the gift hampers to the beneficiaries."
"In this backdrop, when the gift hamper was distributed smoothly in many parts of the state but some people in the parts of TN complained to the government that the products were of substandard quality," he added.