‘Madhya Pradesh government giving too little grain’

April 26th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by admin  

Bhopal, April 26 (IANS) The Right to Food Campaign Saturday filed a petition in the Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the much hyped Chief Minister’s Annapurna Scheme contending that it would provide less food grain than directed by the Supreme Court. “The SC directive makes it mandatory for the government to provide at least 35 kg of subsidised food grain to each Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration card holder family per month through the Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets. But the state government under the Annapurna Scheme proposes to provide only 20 kg of subsidised food grain - wheat for Rs.3 per kg and rice for Rs.4.50 per kg,” Sachin Jain of the Right to Food Campaign told IANS.

Jain, who filed the petition in the High Court, said that Supreme Court in the PUCL versus Union of India case has clearly stipulated in its order dated Jan 10, 2008 that every BPL family would be provided at least 35 kg of subsidised food grain through the PDS.

“The Chief Minister’s Annapurna Scheme, being an integral part of PDS, should stick to this directive. But it proposes to provide only 20 kg of subsided food grain to 43.81 lakh (4.3 million) BPL ration card holders,” he said.

Otherwise also, Jain said, the scheme does not offer much to the poor families as the central government already provides subsidised food grains for BPL families in the state.

“The union government provides wheat for Rs.5 per kg and rice at Rs.6.5 kg. The state government has only increased the subsidy by Rs.2 on both wheat and rice,” he said.

“The scheme is fine so long as it provides cheap food grain to poor families but the government should also ensure sufficient quantity of food grain to them. If they have to purchase additional food grain from the open market, the purpose behind any such scheme is largely defeated,” he said.

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