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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Ration shops to supply 9-item kit

Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The State government will soon implement a scheme to distribute a kit of nine essential commodities through ration shops at subsidised rates, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Minister T.M. Jacob said here on Thursday.

Addressing a meet-the-press organised by the Trivandrum Press Club, Mr. Jacob said beneficiaries would get the kit at Rs.150, which is half its market price.

Supplyco had been entrusted with the task of distributing the kit through 2,745 rations shops. At least two shops in each panchayat, 10 in each municipality, and one each in Corporation wards would be covered under the scheme.

The previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had formulated a scheme to distribute 13 items. The scheme was inaugurated amid much fanfare, but did not last beyond the third month, he said.

Discussions had been held with Union Minister of State for Civil Supplies K.V. Thomas on the State's demand to recognise the below poverty line (BPL) survey conducted by the Kudumbasree during the previous LDF government's term.

The survey had identified 32.20 lakh families in the BPL category.

The government had announced that the rice distribution scheme, at Re.1 a kg and a ceiling of 25 kg a month, would be launched ahead of the Onam season. There were 20 lakh families as beneficiaries under this. The number would go up further, leading to an additional burden of Rs.6 crore.

If the beneficiaries under the Kudumbasree survey were to be included, the subsidy would go up to Rs.12 crore, Mr. Jacob said.

The LDF government's Rs.2 a kg rice scheme for above poverty line (APL) beneficiaries had many flaws. The issue of 3.5 lakh ration cards were pending. Steps would be taken to clear this backlog, he said.

The fair value norms had many shortcomings, Mr. Jacob, who holds the Registration portfolio, said. The government would not reconstitute forums for consumer grievance redress as these were statutory bodies.

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