Food kit distribution: Consulate paid money to Consumerfed

Food kit distribution: Consulate paid money to Consumerfed
Kerala Minister K T Jaleel coming out of the NIA office in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

Kollam: More details have emerged of Consumerfed directly accepting money from the UAE Consulate for the distribution of food kits on the directives of Kerala Minister K T Jaleel. The Consumerfed documents strengthen the allegations of protocol violation in the food kit distribution.

Items worth Rs 5,02,500 were purchased from the Little Triveni Super Store at Maranchery in Jaleel's Thavanur constituency and the bill was issued in the name of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

Allegations have been raised that a cooperative institution of the state government directly accepting money from the Consulate of a foreign country is a protocol violation.

The Consulate paid the Consumerfed for the kit that contained wheat, rice flour, sugar, tea, coriander powder, chilli powder, mustard, turmeric powder, and salt. The amount as per the bill dated June 16 was remitted at the Consumerfed's bank account at Edappal branch on June 26.

The Minister had earlier said that 1,000 kits were procured from the Consumerfed on the Consulate's expenses and distributed in two panchayats.

The Lokayukta then issued a notice to the Minister, directing him to submit the details. A plea, seeking a Vigilance probe into the kit distribution, is also under the consideration of the Vigilance court in Thiruvananthapuram.

Meanwhile, Consumerfed MD V M Muhammed Rafiq said, "The money was remitted by the UAE Consulate. We issued the bill in its name as we were asked to do so. When such an order was placed at the Maranchery Triveni store, the store in-charge took it up. If there was any laxity from the part of the store in-charge, a probe will be held."

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