New Delhi: Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said in Lok Sabha that state Governments are trying to convey to the people that the Centre is doing nothing while they were subsidising food grains to make it available to the poor at highly subsidised rates.
This is not correct, the Minister said adding “Centre’s share in the subsidy on wheat and rice for the poor is 91 per cent as against the 9 per cent share of the state governments.
The minister agreed that people in Tamil Nadu are getting rice and wheat free of cost with some conditions attached. But, he pointed out, it will be wrong to say that the Tamil Nadu Government is giving it. if the cost of grain is Rs. 30 a kg, the Centre bears a subsidy of Rs. 27 while the state Government pools in Rs.3. In some states, he said that the consumer has to pay Rs. 1 for a Kg. In that case the state Government pays only Rs. 3 in terms of cost. In a state like Bihar, the State Government gives nothing. The consumer pays Rs. 3 and the Centre Rs. 27.
The Minister was responding to a query by Perambalur MP R.P. Marutharajaa (AIADMK). He asked the Minister whether the Union Government has procured any additional quantity of pulses and other essential food grains in the last two years and distributed to various States, particularly Tamil Nadu, to stabilize market prices and also to ensure the availability of the same to common public.
Before raising his query, Marutharajaa gave credit to the Tamil Nadu Government for bringing down the soaring prices of Pulses. He said that in order to stabilize the soaring prices of pulses and increase its availability, the Tamil Nadu Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (J, Jayalalithaa) has ordered pulses and essential commodities in its cooperative outlets at subsidized rates; Half a kg. of Toor dal is priced at Rs.55 and a kg. at Rs.110. The PDS outlet would continue to sell the subsidized Toor dal and Urad dal and palm oil at Rs.30 and Rs.25 respectively. These timely initiatives would help stabilize the market rate of Toor dal. It is because of the efforts taken by the hon. Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, the ill-effects of price rise on the poor and middle class people have been reduced considerably.
zeroing in on the specific query relating to pulses, Paswan said that the State Governments, if they want, were free to give other items also (at subsidised rates).