Do not charge for additional rice quota: Pinarayi

Do not charge for additional rice quota: Pinarayi

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI file photo.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make available free of cost the additional 89,540 tonnes rice quota sanctioned to tide over the flood situation.

The Chief Minister wrote to Modi, asking the Centre not to charge any price for the additional rice quota.

Taking into consideration the intensity of the flood situation in the state, the rice price should not be deducted from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), Vijayan said.

Kerala had sought 1.18 lakh tonnes of rice free of cost from the centre for being distributed to those affected by the deluge which had ravaged the state recently.

As per the request, the Food Ministry allotted 89,540 tonnes more to the state.

Though the Centre at present has not asked for the cost price, the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution has informed the state that the amount would either be deducted from the NDRF fund or from other schemes as per the food safety law. Vijayan said that levying the amount from NDRF or other schemes would cause great difficulties to the state and was likely to affect relief and rehabilitation works.

As many as 483 people have lost lives in the state since the onset of the monsoon on May 28.