Food Minister R Kamaraj has said that Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has ensured total food security to the people under the Universal Public Distribution System (UPDS). When the Chief Minister has ensured total food security without any discrimination of below or above poverty line, the Centre has promulgated the Food Security Ordinance, trying to create problems in the allotment of rice to the State, he said.
Addressing a review meeting at the Collectorate here on Tuesday, the Minister said the Chief Minister has flayed the Centre for unilaterally promulgating the ordinance and had asked the Centre not to cut rice allotment to the State.
He said the government was distributing 3.16 lakh tonnes of rice free of cost to 1.84 family card holders every month. After the Chief minister announced the market intervention scheme and ordered selling of rice at Rs. 20 a kg to control the price in the open market, 33,200 quintal of rice has been sold, he said. Similarly after the opening of farm fresh vegetable shops, prices of vegetables have come down considerably in the open market, the Minister said. Pointing out that Tamil Nadu incurred an annual food subsidy of Rs 4,900 crore, the highest in the country, the Minister said the government provided subsidy (Rs. 216 crore) even to rice distributed under the Centre’s Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme. But the Centre continued to adopt step motherly attitude towards the State, denying its rights on the Cauvery water issue and cutting down the kerosene allotment, he alleged.
Earlier, the Minister, accompanied by Minister for Handlooms and Textiles S.Sundararaj, Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Swaran Singh, Additional DGP K. Radhakrishnan, Food Cell, and Collector K.Nanthakumar inspected the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation’s cooking gas cylinder godown at Mandapam.
The Minister also visited a fair price shop at Pirappanvalasai and inspected the Indian Oil Corporation’s kerosene distribution centre at Pattinamkathan and Tamil Nadu warehousing godown.