Will ask for additional 22, 000 tonne of foodgrain from  Centre in order to provide 35 kg of foodgrain per  ration card

Cogencis Mumbai : The Maharashtra government will ask for an additional 22,000 tonne of foodgrain from the Central government in order to provide 35 kilogram of foodgrain per ration card as was given earlier, instead of the 5 kilogram foodgrain per person under the Food Security Act.

“There is a demand from the people of the state that the government should provide 35 kg of foodgrains per ration card as was given earlier before the Food Security Act was implemented,” said Anil Deshmukh, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister, in a press conference on Thursday.

The Central government has called a meeting of state food ministers on Friday in which the Centre will invite suggestions regarding changes needed in the implementation of the Food Security Act.

“The state government was earlier also providing 1 litre of palm oil per ration card. We will also demand palm oil from the Centre so that we can continue providing it,” Deshmukh added.

The state government also wants the Centre to continue the subsidy on tur dal. The state wants to continue providing 1 kg of tur dal per ration card.

In September last year, Parliament passed the Food Security Act. It was a flagship programme of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The Act gave legal entitlement to highly subsidised foodgrain to two-thirds of India’s population.

Maharashtra began implementation of the Act from February 1 this year.

The minister also hinted at rising food prices in the new regime.

“Please compare the prices of foodgrains and vegetables before the general elections with the current prices and you can easily make out the change,” said Deshmukh.

The minister declined to accept the allegations levelled by the Central government that rising food prices were due to hoarding by traders and it was the state government’s responsibility to tackle this problem.

“In Maharashtra, we are very particular about implementing the stock limit,” said Deshmukh.

In the financial year 2013-14, 1,008 cases under the Essential Commodities Act were registered in the state and in 2014-15 the number has gone up to 2,048 already, the minister added.

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