Centre, Bengal spar over food grain allotment utilisation

July 11th, 2012 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) Accusing the West Bengal government with under-utilising food grain allotment for backward districts, union Food minister K.V. Thomas Tuesday said the state used just 12.7 percent of the amount. State Food Minister Jyotipriya Mullick refuted the charge.

“The total food grain allotment for the ten (backward) districts was 2.6 lakh tonnes during 2011-12 and the off take was just 12.7 percent of the quota. The window will remain open till September this year,” Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on food safety, organised by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Mullick however contradicted the data given by Thomas and said the special allotment order for 2011-12 was received only in May this year.

“Still within this short period, we have already lifted 20 percent of the rice under the Antarodaya scheme and 50 percent of food grains under BPL (below poverty line) quota. We have not yet been offered the 42,000 tonnes of wheat allotted,” he said.

The state government had demanded 5.5 lakh tonnes of additional food grain for supply to Jangalmahal area and for those affected in the Aila cyclone and poor people living in hilly areas, he said adding only 3.5 lakh tonnes food grain was offered against the demand.

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