CM Jagan met Goyal on Friday and informed that free rice distribution would be continued for another two months due to Covid-19. (DC Photo)
VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy appealed to Union Railway and Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal to release pending arrears of Rs 3,229 crore for AP Civil Supplies Corporation, as they would come in handy for paying farmers towards the Rabi crop procurement.
The CM met Goyal on Friday and informed that free rice distribution would be continued for another two months due to Covid-19 and stated that effective measures were being taken by the government to overcome the pandemic crisis.
He informed that under the National Food Security Act till December 2015, nearly 1.29 crore ration cardholders were provided with 1,85,640 tonnes of rice every month, but after December 2015, considering the 2011 census, the distribution was limited to only 60.96 per cent households in rural areas and 41.14 per cent households in urban areas. Only 0.91 crore ration card holders were receiving the ration and the allocation was reduced to 1,54,148 tonnes. He said this was a serious injustice to the state, as neighbouring states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat were receiving more supplies.
Jagan Mohan Reddy pointed out to Goyal that the allocation basis for ration rice was decided before the state bifurcation, where all allocations were being made without any reality check.
The CM reminded the minister of the Supreme Court verdict that the state government was responsible for identifying those eligible for ration cards and in this regard, the government surveyed and identified 1.47 crore ration cardholders. He said the poor were suffering severely due to unreasonable restrictions under the National Food Security Act, and appealed to mend the situation at the earliest possible. He added that the government was procuring paddy for 2020-21 Rabi season, providing remunerative prices to farmers and ensuring timely payments.