OUR BUREAU New Delhi

Echoing the Supreme Courts views early this year, a parliamentary standing committee has asked the government to distribute to the BPL ( below poverty line) families free of cost or at a very nominal price whe

at and rice lying in its godowns for three years instead of wasting it.

In a report tabled in Parliament this week, the committee headed by the BJPs MP and former Himachal Chief Minister Shanta Kumar has also demanded that cost of the wasted foodgrains be recovered from those responsible for their faulty storage.

” The committee is extremely anguished to note that foodgrains i. e. rice and wheat of more than three years 2009, 2010 and 2011 are still lying in the godowns and have become unfit for consumption,” the report says.

It also suggests that the poor be given food coupons in addition to foodgrains from the PDS ( public distribution system) and foodgrains for six months be released to the states in one go to reduce the burden of the Food Corporation of India in storing the grains.

EXPORT SURPLUS: The committee also expressed displeasure over the governments policy of accumulating foodgrains over and above the buffer norms and recommended an immediate decision to export the surplus foodgrains by removing the present ban on export of wheat and premium quality non- basmati rice.

It said the government must assess foodgrain requirement by ensuring that its agencies do not procure more than what is required for a buffer stock.

” In a country like India, where a vast majority of people still struggle to make both ends meet, such a colossal waste of precious foodgrains must be viewed very seriously. The government must fix responsibility on those entrusted with storage of foodgrains and ensure that the cost of wasted grains is recovered from them for the loss,” the committee added.

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