The Centre has decided to enhance the allocation of foodgrains sold to the Above Poverty Line (APL) population to 15 kg per family per month for six months with immediate effect. There will be no enhancement of the Central issue price at which wheat or rice is provided to the APL.

The Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries will continue to get 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month.

This decision, taken on a proposal of the Food Ministry at a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) here on Monday, will help clear food stocks which are about 20 million tonnes above norm. The additional outgo of food on this count is estimated at 4.97 million tonnes. Each APL family is now entitled to 15 kg of foodgrains from ration shops. Now, every APL household is provided between 10 kg and 12 kg per month. There are an estimated 11.5-crore APL card-holders. APL families get wheat at Rs. 6.10 a kg and rice at Rs.8.30 a kg.

To augment the storage of foodgrains, the EGoM decided to extend the guarantee period to private parties for hiring godowns to 10 years from seven years. There is an estimated shortage of storage capacity for 14.7 million tonnes of foodgrains.

Recently, the Food Corporation of India suspended eight senior officials for damage to wheat meant for PDS distribution.

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