Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday appealed to Union Minister of Railways, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal to release the pending arrears of ₹3,229 crore to the A.P. State Civil Supplies Corporation, as it would come in handy for paying farmers towards rabi crop procurement.
During discussions held at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi, Mr. Jagan said free rice distribution would continue for two more months due to COVID-19, adding that effective measures were being taken by the government to overcome the pandemic crisis.
Food Security Act
“Under the National Food Security Act, till December 2015, nearly 1.29 crore ration card holders in the State were provided with 1,85,640 MT of rice every month, but after December 2015, considering 2011 Census, the distribution has been limited to only 60.96% households in rural areas and 41.14% households in urban areas, where only 0.91 crore ration card holders are receiving the ration and the allocation was reduced to 1,54,148 MT,” Mr. Jagan said.
He said this was a serious injustice to the State, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat were receiving more supplies.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the allocation basis for ration rice was decided before the bifurcation of the State, where all the allocations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were being carried out on the same basis without any reality check. He reminded the Supreme Court verdict stating that the State government was responsible for identifying those eligible for ration cards and in this regard, the government had surveyed and identified 1.47 crore ration card holders.
Further, he said that the poor were suffering severely due to unreasonable restrictions under the National Food Security Act, where the burden was being carried by the State government and appealed that it be rectified at the earliest possible. He said that the government was procuring paddy for 2020-21 rabi season, providing remunerative prices to farmers and ensuring timely payments.
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