Can't supply PDS  sugar without Central subsidy, says state

Can't supply PDS  sugar without Central subsidy, says state

Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader on Monday said the state government will have to discontinue supply of sugar through PDS if the Centre does not restore its share of the subsidy component.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, Khader said the Centre was providing the states a subsidy of Rs 18.50 per kg of sugar sold through fair price shops. However, in the Union Budget proposals for 2017-18, this subsidy component was withdrawn, indicating that the entire burden of subsidised sugar will have to be borne by the states.

Khader said the Karnataka government has written to the Centre to restore its share of subsidy immediately. At present, 10,000 tonnes of sugar a month is distrubuted through PDS at a cost of Rs 15 per kg.

“The state is not in a position to bear the entire subsidy on its own and will be forced to withdraw supply of sugar through PDS from April this year,” the minister said.

 BPL ration card holders in rural areas will get one litre of kerosene a month even if they have LPG connections, Khader said. As many as 40 lakh card holders with LPG connections will benefit. They will have to enrol at the respective gram panchayats stating that they are interested in availing kerosene. The fuel will be charged at Rs 25 a litre and provided from March. Supply of kerosene to households with LPG connections was discontinued in 1995.

Food and Civil Supplies Department Principal Secretary Harsh Gupta urged all ration card holders to link their cards to Aadhaar at the earliest. Aadhaar seeding of ration cards has been mandatory and ration supply will be cut if it is not done within the next few weeks, he said.

  As many as 50,000 applications have been received online for new APL cards since January this year and 30,000 of them have been processed, Khader said.

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