Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran said here on Tuesday that the rice at Rs. 2 a kg under the extended scheme would become available from the ration shops in a day or two.

Addressing a press conference here, the Minister said that six to ten kilograms of rice would be available to APL card holders at Rs. 2 a kg (subject to conditions). Wheat would also be available at the subsidised rate. The dues to the ration shop dealers for providing the rice lifted at Rs. 8.90 a kg by them would be paid in two weeks. From next month, the government would directly pay the subsidy to the Food Corporation of India before lifting of the stocks.

Refuting the criticisms raised by Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, Mr. Divakaran said that the only delays that were usual in completing government procedures had happened in resuming the scheme after the Election Commission lifted the ban on implementing the scheme. Rs. 250 crores had been provided in the Budget for the scheme. The allegation that there was no allocation for the scheme was incorrect.

He said that the previous (UDF) government had implemented a similar scheme for supplying rice at Rs. 3 a kg when in power without any Budget provisions or even a proper order. It was the LDF government that had paid the dues to the ration dealers in that regard.

Keywords: rice scheme