×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Roasted Karnataka govt gives in on grain

The Cabinet on Tuesday evening decided to resume the supply of foodgrain with immediate effect
Last Updated : 05 February 2020, 01:41 IST
Last Updated : 05 February 2020, 01:41 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

The BJP-led state government on Tuesday came under fire from the Opposition for stopping the supply of foodgrain to welfare institutions feeding poor students, including prominent mutts and temples.

The sudden decision to stop the supply — reportedly at the behest of the Centre — had hit 32,326 students, most of who belong to SC/ST and OBC communities. Following the Opposition tirade, the Cabinet which met on Tuesday evening decided to resume the supply with immediate effect.

Government sources said 34,462 students at 419 institutions run by aided and private institutions were the beneficiaries of the programme launched by the Congress-led Siddaramaiah government.

Complying with the Centre’s order that forbids foodgrain supply to these institutions, the distribution was stopped in December 2019. The neighbouring Maharashtra had requested the Centre to reverse the order, considering the nature of the institutions that feed the poor.

Manjula V, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Food and Civil Supplies, told DH, “There is no question of protesting the Centre’s order, but the file concerned is under consideration by the finance department to see if the state can bear the expenditure. The Centre was providing foodgrain at a subsidy of Rs 3 per kg (wheat) and Rs 5 per kg (rice) and the same was given free of cost to beneficiaries. Now, someone has to bear the cost of the subsidy as the Centre has pulled out.”

Had the state government procured it from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the open market sale scheme, it would have been costlier. “The rice would have cost us Rs 22.5 per kg and wheat Rs 23. Procuring it at a subsidised rate and giving it free of cost was different from procuring it at a higher cost, as it resulted in financial implication. Hence, the state was looking at how it can support these welfare institutions,” Manjula said.

Slamming the government, former Food and Civil Supplies minister UT Khader said, “Depriving students of food regardless of the nature of the welfare institutions is inhuman.”

Food & Civil Supplies Minister Shashikala Jolle said, “This was done during the previous government’s tenure. I got a letter from the Siddaganga Mutt about the subsidy being stopped. The department has decided not to stop the subsidy and I moved the file in this connection a fortnight ago,” she said.

Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said the Cabinet had decided to continue allocation of rice and wheat to 351 social welfare organisations, which included prominent mutts of the state. Madhuswamy said though the scheme was discontinued briefly, the government has decided to allocate Rs 18 crore in subsidies required to run the programme for a year. A total of 32,700 students will benefit from this, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 04 February 2020, 18:53 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT