In light of the Supreme Court's observations, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food will meet here on Thursday and is expected to look at the possibility of the government allocating more subsidised foodgrains for the poor under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
Union Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar — who told the Lok Sabha that the government was examining the Supreme Court's order on the distribution of foodgrains at low cost or no cost — was closeted with senior officials of the Food Ministry for over an hour on Tuesday to review the situation.
Following the Court's direction in the last hearing, the Ministry had taken a proposal to the EGoM to expand the coverage of Below the Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries from October 2.
However, no decision was taken on the proposal as the Planning Commission is yet to come up with firm estimates of rural and urban poverty.
The EGoM will look at the entire gamut of the availability of foodgrains, the Court's observations, the Food Ministry's proposal for additional allocations to BPL beneficiaries, the offtake of foodgrains allocated to States, and the grains off-loaded under the open market sale scheme.