Govt claims the grains are to be sourced from the Centre and the release of the share reserved for Above Poverty Line sections is in the hands of the EC
The 1.77 crore people falling in the Above Poverty Line (APL) category will have to now wait for the elections to end to receive their due of foodgrains thanks to the implementation of the model code of conduct by the Election Commission ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Grain of truth: APL families have not got foodgrains since last month. Representation Pic
APL families are orange ration cardholders who are entitled to get food grains at the marginal price of Rs 9.20 for wheat and Rs 7.60 for rice. So far, they haven’t received their quota since last month. There are 5.68 lakh APL beneficiaries in the Pune division.
The state food and supply minister and state cabinet minister Anil Deshmukh is said to have already given a green signal to allot the food grains to the APL section.
“We have to shell out additional Rs 1,200 crore per year to meet the food grain needs of the APL category. To avoid the tender process and purchase of grains from the market, the state government has decided to ask the Union government for this quota.
However, as the model code of conduct has been declared, the file for the demand of the food grain quota lies before the Election Commission of India,” said Deshmukh. He added, “I also spoke with Union Food Minister KV Thomas on Monday and told him to allot the quota as soon as possible as it is a routine scheme.
The APL beneficiaries in Pune division are now a confused lot. “We have been receiving complaints of unavailability of food grains at a marginal rate from all the five districts (Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara) from APL beneficiaries,” said assistant commissioner of food and supply department of Pune division, Prakash Kadam.
He stated that beneficiaries of Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) schemes are getting their quota of food grains on time which has created confusion among APLs as to whether they would get their share.
Leader of the opposition in Vidhan Sabha Eknath Khadse criticised the state government’s sluggish attitude and said, “Poll code was announced only last week, however state government has decided to work on this scheme since last month.”
No of APL beneficiaries in Pune