Kerala to get PDS grains from Centre at MSP rates

By: | Published: September 28, 2016 5:55 PM

Acting tough against Tamil Nadu and Kerala who are yet to implement Food Law, the Union Cabinet today approved supply of foodgrain at the minimum support price (MSP) for distribution to above poverty line families via ration shops.

Barring these two states, 34 states and Union Territories have rolled out the National Food Security Act (NFSA), passed by the Parliament in September 2013 during the UPA regime, either partially or fully. (Source:Reuters)Barring these two states, 34 states and Union Territories have rolled out the National Food Security Act (NFSA), passed by the Parliament in September 2013 during the UPA regime, either partially or fully. (Source:Reuters)

Acting tough against Tamil Nadu and Kerala who are yet to implement Food Law, the Union Cabinet today approved supply of foodgrain at the minimum support price (MSP) for distribution to above poverty line families via ration shops.

Barring these two states, 34 states and Union Territories have rolled out the National Food Security Act (NFSA), passed by the Parliament in September 2013 during the UPA regime, either partially or fully.

The NFSA aims to abolish the above poverty line (APL) and below poverty line (BPL) criteria and uniformly provides 5 kg of wheat or rice to all beneficiaries every month at a subsidised rate of Rs 1-3 per kg.

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a proposal to provide foodgrains to APL category to Tamil Nadu and Kerala at MSP instead of APL rate,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told PTI after the meeting.

Wheat will be supplied at the MSP of Rs 15.25 per kg and rice at Rs 22.54 per kg to these two states. Earlier, wheat and rice were given to them at APL rate of Rs 6.10 per kg and Rs 8.30 per kg respectively, he said.

Normally, the Central government supplies 1.40 lakh tonnes foodgrain to Tamil Nadu and 47,800 tonnes to Kerala every month for distribution to APL families.

However, the foodgrain supplies to these two states for distribution to BPL families and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) would continue at old rates, Paswan added.

As per the official data, Tamil Nadu has a total of 195.85 ration card holders, out of which BPL and APL are 170.20 lakh while the remaining are under AAY category. There is no distinction made between BPL and APL in the state as it follows universal public distribution system.

In Kerala, there are 82.31 lakh ration cards holders, of which APL families comprise 61.54 lakh.

Earlier this month, Paswan had warned these two states that foodgrains for distribution to APL families would be provided at a higher rate if they fail to implement NFSA at the earliest.

Kerala has informed the Centre that it would roll out the NFSA by December, while TN has not given any date.

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