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Call off Re 1 per kg rice scheme: Mohandas Pai to Siddu

Bangalore, Jul 8, 2013 (PTI): 21:41 IST
Former Infosys CFO T V Mohandas Pai. DH photo
Former Infosys CFO T V Mohandas Pai today asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to rise above politics and call off implementation of Congress government's scheme to provide 30 kg rice per month to BPL families at Re one per kg as it would impose a heavy burden on the state exchequer.

Pai said government was not going to give money from its pockets but implement the scheme by using tax-payers money.

"If government does this, it is nothing but looting money of the tax-payers," Pai, currently Chairman of Manipal Global Education, told reporters here on the sidelines of the 'Pride of Karnataka' awards ceremony organised by Round Table India.

Pai said huge money would go down the drain by targeting feeding one crore people belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category but it would have been good if they had promised to distribute it to about 30 lakh people instead.

"Giving rice at Re one per kg for one crore people - neither that much of rice is available nor money," he added.

Pai suggested the government to utilise Rs 4,000 crore odd money to implement skill development schemes, instead of implementing Re one kg rice scheme. "Money spent on skill development programmes will create an opportunity for people to earn their livelihood," he opined.

Karnataka needs additional 1,07,000 tonnes food grains to implement the programme which would cost the exchequer Rs 4,200-Rs 4,300 crore this year by way of subsidy.

It has sought an additional 10,000-15,000 tonnes from the Centre. Karnataka is all set to roll out the scheme from July 10. It originally planned to implement the programme from June but postponed it as it could not tie-up on the supply side.

The opposition BJP has dubbed the programme a "hasty decision" without doing homework. Karnataka is not a large rice producing state.

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