Discussions on terms of reference for judicial inquiry into solar scam

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday criticised the reluctance of the Opposition to hold discussions with the government on the terms of reference for the judicial inquiry into the solar scam.

“If the Opposition is unwilling for discussions with me, I can depute others for the discussions,” the Chief Minister said wondering why the Opposition was scary about discussions on the terms of reference.

Reiterating that the government was open to discussions on the demand for inclusion of the Chief Minister’s Office in the ambit of the inquiry, the Chief Minister said doubters could know the truth when the terms were announced.

Mr. Chandy said the Cabinet could have taken a decision on the inquiry on Wednesday if the Opposition had given its suggestions. Discussions would have been convenient than a written document as clarifications could be sought.

Grain quota

The Chief Minister said the Centre had agreed to retain the quota of food grains for the State on implementation of the food security legislation.

As it stood, only supply to 46 per cent of ration card holders (10 lakh tonnes) would be covered under the proposed law. As for the balance (4.5 lakh tonnes), the Centre had agreed to incorporate provision in the Bill for providing grain based on the average off take during the past three years.

This quantity would be supplied at Rs.8.90 a kg. A clear idea was to emerge on the ad hoc allocations that the State was getting.

The Centre had asked the State to submit a scheme on it. There was also a proposal to bring migrant labourers under the ambit of the PDS as had been done in Delhi.

He said that beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana would continue to get 35 kg rice a month per family under the new regime.

However, the BPL category would be categorised as priority sector and given 5 kg of rice per person a month instead of 25 kg a month per family.

These would be supplied by the Centre at Rs.3 a kg and the State government would provide an additional subsidy, bringing down the price to Rs.1 a kg.

He said the State was required to make additional godowns in the public or cooperative sector towards implementing the law.