No Amma-type canteens in Karnataka: Dinesh

State requires 10,000 MT of subsidised foodgrains from Centre to run the show

Karnataka will not go the Tamil Nadu way of providing subsidised food in canteens, on the lines of Amma canteen.

The ambitious effort to start such canteens in the State appears to have evaporated with Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies, Dinesh Gundu Rao, on Saturday stating that the department requires subsidised foodgrains from the Centre for this effort.

“We can start these canteens only if the Central government gives us the complete 10,000 metric tonnes of foodgrains at a subsidised rate. As per the rules, the State is eligible for five per cent of subsidised foodgrains, out of the total foodgrains supplied to us under the Public Distribution System.

At present, we are only receiving 1,500 metric tonnes of foodgrains at a subsidised rate,” justified Dinesh.

Presently, the minister said, the subsidised foodgrains are being utilised for the purpose of mid-day meal scheme.

The department has already written to the Centre, seeking the release of foodgrains which the State is due, under subsidy, he said.

Kerosene to be stopped

Meanwhile, the department will be stopping subsidised foodgrains and kerosene to cardholders who have, till date, not shared their voter IDs or Aadhar numbers, with them. However, there is no time frame as to when the department will stop the supply of subsidised foodgrains.

The department has received SMSes from 1.05 crore cardholders, confirming their voter IDs, and another 1.15 crore SMSes confirming Aadhar cards, which can be linked to their ration cards.

“Several more are yet to confirm. Giving more time will not make sense. We will stop giving kerosene for now, which will be followed by foodgrains, to those who have not shared their voter IDs or Aadhar numbers,” he added.

The department will stop supplying kerosene to nearly 12.03 lakh BPL cardholders, as part of the process, to weed out bogus cards. These cardholders are primarily from the urban pockets of the State. The government had given ample time to renew ration cards, issued prior to 2010.

“Despite sufficient time, as many as 3.52 lakh cardholders had not renewed their cards. There were instances of a few families possessing more than one card. And in some cases, children below 18 years also possessed ration cards. The 12.03 lakh card holders identified by us, are inclusive of all such instances,” he said.

Dinesh said the government will extend the same criteria to the rural areas shortly, to stop the supply of kerosene. Those who would like to know the status of their ration cards, can log on to www.ahara.kar.nic.in

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