APL families to get sugar, wheat under PDS

The State government is planning to provide sugar and wheat to Above Poverty Line (APL) ration cardholders under the Public Distribution System (PDS), Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Monday.

Rao told reporters that the department is working on details to supply wheat and sugar. If things work out according to plan, a proposal in this regard would be soon placed before the Cabinet, which will take the final decision, he added.

Supply of sugar to the APL cardholders was stopped long ago, while wheat was supplied whenever the department used to receive excess allotment from the Food Corporation of India. Recently, the government decided to discontinue supply of rice to the APL cardholders.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defended his government’s decision to stop supplying rice to the APL cardholders, saying they were not buying rice from ration shops.
That rice will be diverted to implement the rice-for-Re 1-per-kg scheme, scheduled to be launched on July 1, he said.

Asked about the criticism from opposition parties over the hike in the KSRTC bus fare, he said the hike had become unavoidable due to the increase in fuel prices.
“Our intention was not to burden the public. We have to save the transport corporations. Hence, the decision was taken to hike the bus fare,” he stated.
The government is planning to hold the Budget session in July. Pre-budget meetings are being held with ministers and officials concerned.

Promises made in the Congress election manifesto will be incorporated in the Budget, he added. Siddaramaiah also welcomed the appointment of senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh as the in-charge for Karnataka.
He has vast political experience and the party will win the highest number of seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls under his leadership, he said.

BJP, JD(S) slam govt on rice scheme

The BJP and the JD(S) on Monday slammed the Congress government for deciding to discontinue providing rice to the APL ration cardholders. Senior JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda said the government can not divert food grain meant for the APL card holders.

“The government will land in deep trouble if a public interest litigation is filed in court challenging the move. The Union government should not allow such a move. How can the government deprive a section of the people to feed others?” he asked.

Addressing separate press conferences in Bangalore, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council D V Sadananda Gowda and JD(S) leader H D Revanna said the government was doing injustice to the APL families. 

“More than 34 lakh APL cardholders will suffer for no fault of theirs. The government should have planned properly before announcing the Re 1 per kg rice scheme,” Gowda said. Revanna said several poor families had not yet got BPL cards. They have still APL cards.

“At least they were getting 10 kg of rice at Rs 10 per kg. They will now have to purchase from the open market,” Revanna said.

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