Re. 1 a kg rice will now be launched on July 1 instead of June 1

Gripped by the shortage of rice, the State Council of Ministers, which met on Thursday evening, is learnt to have decided to put off the flagship scheme of supplying 30 kg of rice at a cost of Re. 1 a kg to poor families by a month.

According to sources in the Ministry, the rice scheme that was scheduled to commence on June 1, will now start only on July 1.

All-out efforts

Though the State government is making all-out efforts to raise enough quantum of rice for rolling out the scheme, there is still shortage, the sources noted.

They pointed out that the government was providing only 20 kg of rice per family through the Public Distribution System. But this will have to be increased to 30 kg besides reducing the cost.

2.42 lakh tonnes

The scheme, which was announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah soon after he was sworn in Chief Minister, would require 2.42 lakh tonnes of rice.

While the Union government has been giving 1.70 lakh tonnes, the State has to organise about 70,000 tonnes for this scheme.

The Council of Ministers is learnt to have discussed various options of raising adequate quantum of rice to ensure that the flagship programme took off without any hurdles.

In Kerala

Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao is learnt to have been sent to Kerala to meet Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas to appeal to him to release an additional quantum of rice for Karnataka under the Public Distribution System to operate the rice scheme.

Amendment

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers is also learnt to have discussed the need for amending the law related to the Karnataka Police Establishment Board to modify the norms related to minimum tenure for police officials after their transfer, among other things.

Governor’s speech

The major focus of the three-hour meeting of the Council of Ministers was the Governor’s proposed speech to the joint session of the State Legislature, which is his first such speech under the new dispensation.

Every paragraph of the proposed speech is learnt to have been read out and suggestions solicited from the Ministers in their respective departments before the Council of Ministers gave the clearance to the draft speech copy.

Land encroachment

Ministerial sources said that the Council of Ministers had decided to set up a committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, to examine the reports of the A.T. Ramaswamy Committee and the Balasubramanyam Committee that looked into the encroachment of government land.

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