I-Day bonanza for APL card holders

50 kilo each of rice and wheat once in six months; 8 lakh families stand to benefit

I-Day bonanza for APL card holders

The government would provide 50 kgs of  rice and wheat, once every six months to both APL and BPL families. While rice under the scheme costs Rs 13 per kg, wheat costs Rs 9.5 per kg. Both rice and wheat stock will come from Punjab. In open market, rice may cost not less Rs 17 to Rs 20 a kg, official sources said.  Addressing a press meet here on Thursday, Food and Civil Supplies Minister R Ashok said the programme, to be launched on August 15 will benefit an estimated eight lakh families in the State.

The largesse on the part of State Government comes in the wake of additional supply of rice and wheat from the Centre. Commencing this month, the Centre has started releasing an additional 25,100 tonnes rice and 6,440 tonnes wheat every month. The Government will chip in by routing its excess stock to the scheme. It has been estimated that a total of 38,553 tonnes of rice and 59,456 tonnes of wheat will be distributed during the next one year. Employees of State and Central Government, public sector units, local bodies, private firms, aided and unaided educational institutions, military and para-military units are eligible for the scheme.

The foodgrains can be procured from 140 godowns of Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation by furnishing photo identity cards which could anything from a ration card to a PAN card to an office ID card. Managements of non-government organisations, hostels, orphanages can also make use of the scheme for their respective institutions.

While the Centre has identified 32 lakh families as BPL and supplies grains to as many families, the State has shown on record that it has 1.03 crore BPL families. The Centre is supplying subsidised grains only to the 32 lakh families.

More gains

There is an additional bonanza in store for APL families. For the first time, as many as 18 lakh APL families in urban pockets in the State can avail five kg rice and two kg wheat every month from fair price shops. The rice costs Rs 9.40 per kg and wheat costs Rs 7.20 per kg.  As a bonus, 10 kg rice and five kg wheat will be provided for the months of August and September, Ashok said.

Replying to queries, the minister denied that the Government had announced the programmes keeping in view the forthcoming Taluk and Zilla Panchayat elections.
BPL (non-LPG) card holders in Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Kodagu, Hassan, Mysore and Chamarajnagar can avail an additional litre of kerosene from this month, he said.

Trucks transporting PDS foodgrains to be painted yellow

The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department has made it mandatory for all trucks/lorries transporting foodgrains through the Public Distribution System (PDS) to be painted in yellow colour, henceforth.

Aimed at checking diversion of PDS grain or it reaching into the wrong hands, the department has now decided to crack down on diversion and black-marketing of supplies.

Sources in the department said private wholesale truck operators transporting supplies for the PDS scheme have been directed to paint trucks yellow at their own cost. The department has hired nearly a thousand such private trucks for transporting PDS foodgrains from all district and taluk godowns to ration shops located in various villages.

“Nearly 15 per cent of the foodgrains such as wheat, rice and kerosene allocated to fair price shops have been found to be diverted into the open market, depriving those below the poverty line of the food subsidy and essential commodities,” said the source.

The department has also issued as directive to truckers that they have to prominently display helpline number - 800 - 425-9339 on all trucks for identification. A month’s time has been given for change of colour.

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