Kerala asks Centre to retain its ration quota
The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution, urging the Centre to reconsider its decision to discontinue the supply of subsidised foodgrains to Above Poverty Line (APL) families and retain the existing ration quota of the state.
Moving the resolution in the House, state Minister for Food and Civil Supplies P Thilothaman said the BJP-led NDA government’s move would affect over 62 lakh APL families in Kerala.
He said the Centre should re-look its decision as the state government was moving on a “war-footing” to implement the Food Security Act.
The minister also blamed the previous UDF government in the state for alleged lapses in the implementation of the Act, which resulted in the Centre cutting short the ad-hoc ration allocation to Kerala.
“The Centre has cut short the ad-hoc allocation. It has also decided to stop the supply of subsidised foodgrains to APL families. It will put the PDS in the state into disarray,” he said.
The previous UDF government had only done “preliminary” things with regard to the implementation of the Act, Thilothaman claimed.
The Centre’s decision would cause an adverse impact in a state like Kerala where there had been a statutory ration distribution system so far.
So, it should do everything to continue with the present PDS system and ensure that all the categories get foodgrains at a subsidised rate, the resolution said.
It was passed in the absence of Congress-led UDF members, who boycotted the House proceedings over the private medical college row, and with the resentment of O Rajagopal, the lone BJP member.
Rajagopal accused the state of being responsible for lapses in the implementation of the Food Security Act, despite repeated requests from the Centre for its immediate execution.