Six months ago, the state government had stopped supplying wheat citing no demand for the food grain.

With 2018 polls nearing Ktaka to subsidise wheat under Anna Bhagya scheme again
news Politics Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 08:01

With the 2018 Assembly elections only six months away, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader announced on Monday that wheat will be given at subsidised rate under the Anna Bhagya Scheme in 13 North Karnataka districts.

The state’s northern region, is believed to hold the key to swing the upcoming election. 

“Beneficiaries of Anna Bhagya Scheme will get 2 kg of wheat along with 5 kg of rice,” Minister Khader said. 

Six months ago, the government had discontinued distribution of wheat citing little or no demand for the food grain. The state government was providing only 7 kg of rice under the scheme. 

“Deputy Commissioners from several districts of North Karnataka have submitted reports saying that BPL families have been demanding wheat. We have written to the Centre to provide us with wheat instead of the additional rice we had earlier sought,“ Khader added.

Currently, the Food and Civil Supplies Department is estimating the amount of wheat the statae government would require. “Before the supply of wheat was stopped, it was distributing 5 lakh quintals of the food grain every month. Currently, the department is supplying 2.6 lakh metric tonnes of rice to 1.08 crore families,” the Minister said.

The Minister also said that allegations have surfaced that over 30,000 quintals of wheat has been lodged in 207 government godowns. 

“An inquiry has been ordered under the Karnataka Essential Commodities Act. With the foodgrain having a shelf life of three or four months, the godown stock should have been disposed of. However, the godowns continue to store wheat for over seven months. The foodgrain may not be fit for consumption now,” Khader said.

Khader reiterated that Aadhaar is not mandatory for receiving benefits under the Anna Bhagya scheme. 

Speaking to media, he said that the department has received complaints about the trouble they were facing due to the Aadhaar factor. 

“Officials have been instructed not to turn away beneficiaries for not submitting Aadhaar. Ration shops cannot deny foodgrains to beneficiaries,” Khader added.

Khader said that the department has also planning to roll out a bar-coded SMS service from November 1 for all beneficiaries to receive their quota details and show them at PDS shops to get their monthly ration.

 

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