Cancel ration cards for 3-month non-drawal: Paswan

Cancel ration cards for 3-month non-drawal: Paswan

The Centre on Friday asked states to cancel ration cards of those who have not lifted rations under PDS for three consecutive months.

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also urged states to ensure doorstep delivery of ration to the needy to check starvation deaths.

"It could be possible that such beneficiary (not drawing rations) is rich and does not require and such ration card can be cancelled. There could be another possibility that some beneficiaries are not able to visit ration shop because of old age and physical disability. In that case, we need to provide home delivery of ration," Paswan told reporters after a meeting of state food ministers here.

The Centre has also asked states to keep a strict vigil on price rise of vegetable and staples in the monsoon months and in the run-up to festive season ahead.

"We have given guidelines to all states to ensure there are no starvation deaths because of non-delivery of PDS grains. As a precautionary measure, we have asked states to provide for doorstep delivery of subsidised grains," the minister said.

The minister also informed that the subsidy rate at which foodgrain are supplied through ration shops has not been revised since the food law was rolled out in July 2013. PDS rates have been kept unchanged for rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and coarse grains at Rs 1/kg.

Huge arrears

In the meeting, Karnataka Food Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan urged the Centre to clear over Rs 954 crore claim of the state procuring agencies for the purchase of rice and coarse grains at MSP in last three years.

Khan said the pending claims of the agencies have not been cleared despite submitting all documents. He said non-clearance of their previous claims has resulted in huge interest payment.

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