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"Rice scheme will go on"

Staff Reporter

Attempts to scuttle it will be defeated : Food Minister



MEETING: The Food Minister, A.V. Velu, (second from left) addressing the officials during a review meeting in Karur on Sunday.

KARUR: The Food and Civil Supplies Minister, A.V. Velu, has claimed that attempts are being made to scuttle the Rs.2 per kg rice scheme and the State Government would defeat such nefarious moves effectively.

The scheme would continue as promised, he said.

Interacting with the media persons here on Sunday, Mr. Velu also denied that substandard rice was being given under the scheme in the fair price shops. "Rice being procured from Chattisgarh is a bit brownish in colour but that's due to the nature of the soil there and not because any deficiency in standard,'' he explained.

Claiming that there were concerted attempts to scuttle the scheme, Mr. Velu claimed that in Perambalur district, one person produced a pack of rice purportedly given under the scheme which was "substandard'' and also submitted a petition to the Collector that the quality was poor and only that was being supplied through the fair price shops in the locality.

Upon investigations, it was found that the person who gave the complaint, Viswanathan belonging to a village near Sendurai, had willfully done that with political motives and that the rice distributed in his locality was of good nature, the Minister claimed. "We'll defeat efforts to scuttle the Rs. Two per kg rice scheme,'' he added.

The Food Minister also claimed that due to the bungling of the previous AIADMK government, there were discrepancies galore in the distribution of ration cards all over the State.

All things would be set right and the distribution process would be over by June 30, he said. After that, the applications received for new cards would be processed, Mr. Velu said.

The Minister also reviewed the progress of distribution of rice under the Rs. 2 per kg scheme and distribution of ration cards. Collector, A. Karthik, Karur MP, K. C. Palanisamy, MLAs P. Kamaraj, R. Manikkam and M.A. Khaleelur Rahman and other officials were present.

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