The Communist Party of India has urged the State Government to distribute food grains at a subsidised rate to a larger section of the society than restrict it to a portion of people.

“This will largely address the problem of malnutrition and agrarian crisis in Karnataka,” Amarjeet Kaur, national secretary of the party told reporters here on Tuesday.

Ms. Kaur said the announcement by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of providing 30 kg of rice at Re. 1 per kg to below poverty line (BPL) families every month will only meet the requirements of just 20 per cent of the population. The State government will be leaving out large sections of the society. Ms. Kaur said instead, the State Government can provide grains at a subsidised rate to those under a specified income slab.

“Provide grains at subsidised rate through PDS to people below this (income) ceiling. In turn, if people in the BPL category get grains free of cost, then nobody will object. This will cover as much as 80 per cent of the population,” Ms. Kaur said.

“The country has enough resources to meet this requirement,” she added and said this will be a way of addressing problem of malnutrition and agrarian crisis.

Welcoming Mr. Siddaramaiah’s decision to wave off loans borrowed by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Ms. Kaur said the Chief Minister should curb the reason that is leading them to the debt trap. “Government should find reasons for indebtedness and address it,” she said and added policies should be in place to prevent people from opting for loan.

The new government in Karnataka should be different from the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre. The Centre has failed to support farmers by not improving agriculture income. It has not helped in generating employment ratio, which was sharply coming down both in organised and unorganised sectors. “New Government has to improve governance and prevail on the Centre that the model the latter is following is incorrect,” Ms. Kaur said.

Ms. Kaur later participated in a meeting of the party in B.C. Road.

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