Says it should not dilute powers of State government

The new food security bill should not dilute powers of the State government in offering various concessions to people through public distribution system (PDS). Tamil Nadu had been offering 20 kg of priceless rice to the poor through ration shops. Other States had been following different models of PDS system, said G. Ramakrishnan, State secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Talking to presspersons here on Friday, he said that the CPI-M would fight against adverse features in the bill and create a food security movement in the State by intensifying campaigns in villages and towns on the rights of people and adverse features in the bill. The party would stage a demonstration in New Delhi by July-end. The bill should not control States in offering such concessions.

Kerosene supply to Tamil Nadu was far below the requirement. Total demand for kerosene in the State was 64,000 kilo litres. But, the Centre supplied 52,000 KL only. Later, it slashed it further to 39,000 KL. The Centre should supply sufficient quantity of kerosene to meet the required demand. The State government also should increase supply of priceless rice to 35 kg from 20 kg. Efforts should be taken to prevent rice smuggling and streamlining PDS, he said.

On the present economic scenario, Mr. Ramakrishnan charged that the Centre’s wrong economic policies were responsible for the pathetic economic conditions. The economic policy that was not suitable to our country was being implemented by the Congress. Its ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam also did not protest it. Now, the AIADMK too did not bother about it.

With a sharp slump in subsidy, fertilizer prices had shot up, resulting in increase in production cost. Procurement prices were very low and did not meet even production cost for farmers. But consumers were paying huge amount for finished agriculture produces. Such anomalies should be sorted out, he said.

Welcoming Chief Minster Jayalalithaa’s warning to councillors, he alleged that corruption and malpractices in implementing various projects at the municipal level were high.

Law and order was deteriorating and police atrocities were on the increase in the State, particularly in Dindigul, he charged.

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