Does PDS mean Please Don't Supply?

Not so nice

Does PDS mean Please Don't Supply?

Consider this: The State Food and Civil Supplies department could sell just 1,522 metric tonnes of 86,266 metric tonnes PDS rice available in the State. The department and the Union Government had jointly offered ‘A’ grade rice at Rs 16.50 per kg under a special scheme to help people (only APL card holders) cope with the price rise in February and March 2010.

The scheme was implemented only in urban centres of the State as the BPL (below poverty line) card holders in rural areas are already getting rice at highly subsidised rate. According to the statistics of allotment and distribution of rice under the special scheme, people in the backward districts of Gulbarga, Bellary, Raichur and Chamarajnagar too are averse to use the ‘ration’ rice. There were no takers in Chamarajnagar, while in Gulbarga only 3 per cent of the stock was sold.

Surprisingly, the response for the scheme was better in Bangalore than these backward districts. In the capital, nearly 12 per cent of the available 675 metric tonnes was sold to APL families.

But, the scheme was a hit in Tumkur, with three-fourths of  the available 147 metric tonnes was sold. In Chikkaballapur, 39 per cent of the rice available for the district was sold. But in almost all other towns, the sale was less than 10 per cent of the available stock.

The majority of APL card holders normally use sona masuri rice, the average price of which is Rs 38 in the open market. Similar is the case with the PDS rice under the scheme.

Why are people in urban areas verse to PDS rice? “People have an impression that ration rice is of poor quality. They don’t even bother to walk up to the fair price shop to ascertain the quality of the rice supplied. Hence, we could not sell the rice, although it was of better quality,” an official explained.

Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies Department N K Parashuram, however, claimed that soon after the Government released the rice under the scheme, the wholesale rice sellers slashed the price in the open market.  So, the scheme has in a way served its purpose, he added, although he did not substantiate his claim with figures.

No takers for ration akki

* APL card holders are averse to use PDS rice.

* Only 1,522 mt tonnes of 86,000 mt tonnes of rice were sold to APL card holders in two months.

* No takers in Chamarajnagar.

* 3 per cent sold in Gulbarga.

* 12 per cent sold in Bangalore.

* 39 per cent sold in Chikkaballapur.

* Government had provided ‘A’ grade quality rice at Rs 16.50 per kg.

* Price slash by wholesale rice sellers also effected the scheme.

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