Govt's Rs 17 rice, not so nice

Govt's Rs 17 rice, not so nice

“Initially, a lot of people visited the shop. On finding out the quality of the rice, they decided not to buy. We have hardly sold any rice in the last one week,” Rame Gowda, one of attendants at Janata Bazaar on K G Gowda road, said.

To provide relief to people in the wake of steep rise in prices of essential commodities, the Food and Civil Supplies Department has been selling rice at Rs 17 per kg and wheat at Rs 16.70 per kg through Open Market Sale (OMS) scheme at Janata Bazaars and cooperative societies. The Union government is supplying this rice and wheat to the State under OMS scheme. The Centre is charging Rs 16.15 per kg rice and Rs 12.66 per kg wheat respectively to the State.

But the quality of the rice and wheat being sold is sub-standard. This rice is also called dosa rice as it is generally used by hoteliers. The quality is same as one provided to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) card holders at Rs 3 per kg.

Official sources said the wholesale traders belonging to cooperative societies are not even ready to lift this rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns fearing loss. The department issues indents to the traders and they, in turn, have to lift the stock at the FCI godowns.
As a result, official sources said, the entire stock allocated to the State under the scheme may lapse. The Centre has allocated 1.18 lakh tonnes of rice and 36,000 tonnes of wheat.

Rame Gowda further said: “People will buy the same rice if steps are taken to upgrade the quality.”
When contacted, Food and Civil Supplies Minister H Halappa said the department is supplying whatever the Centre has provided. “We are not gaining anything from the sale of this rice. If the Centre provides us with good quality rice, we will supply it to people,” he added.
DH News Service

‘A’ grade rice
The Government has started selling ‘A’ grade rice under a new scheme, of late, to all APL card holders at Rs 16.50 per kg. “The quality is much better compared to Rs 17 per kg rice. It has been introduced only for APL card holders in urban areas,” officials said. Every APL card holder will get 10 kg rice and five kg wheat (at Rs 11.70 per kg) per month at fair price shops.

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