State government likely to include it in scheme in August
Wheat is expected to be part of the State government’s scheme to supply foodgrains at Re. 1 a kg. In fact, details on the demand for wheat is being collated from all the districts.
The sale of rice for the benefit of people living below the poverty line, apart from those covered under the Antyodaya scheme (poorest of the poor), is scheduled to begin on July 10 across the State. The quantum of rice required for July is available and the Union government has provided an additional quota of 40,000 tonnes.
Government sources said apart from rice, there is considerable demand for wheat in some of the districts, including major cities like Bangalore and Mysore. At present, the State receives around 1.8 lakh tonnes of rice and about 30,000 tonnes of wheat from the Central pool for the Public Distribution System (PDS). The requirement for the new scheme is around 2.78 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat together.
Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao said inclusion of wheat should not be a problem. This foodgrain will also be made available at Re. 1 a kg, he said. To begin with, only rice will be available for July. But from August, wheat is likely to be included. The total quantity available to a BPL card holder will, however, be not more than 30 kg whether it is rice or wheat, or a combination of both.
A card holder with one name registered on it will be eligible only for 10 kg of rice; a card with two names for not more than 20 kg; and a card with more than four names will be eligible for not more than 30 kg of rice. Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao said the demand for inclusion of ragi and jowar is not being considered.
There are nearly 87,000 BPL cards apart from another 11,000 Antyodaya cards in the State. The total number of ration cards in circulation is 1.31 crore. According to government records, there are nearly nine lakh cards with only one name registered.
This is expected to reduce the quantum of rice required by 20 lakh tonnes per month. The earlier estimation was that around 2.8 lakh tonnes of rice was required, although this is likely to reduce. At present, rice is sold to BPL card holders at Rs. 3 a kg.