The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on the Tamil Nadu government’s writ petition challenging the Centre’s decision to reduce allocation of kerosene to the State by 55 per cent from June 2011, from 65,140 kilo litres to 29,060 KL.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Vikramajit Sen and Kurian Joseph issued notice after hearing Additional Advocate General Subramonium Prasad, appearing for Tamil Nadu.
In a writ petition Tamil Nadu said, “There is no basis for the reduction of kerosene and this reduction has been made only on flimsy grounds. The allocation under the PDS-SKO (Public Distribution System- Superior Kerosene Oil) is made by Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.” The allocated kerosene is distributed to family cardholders under the Public Distribution System by the States. In Tamil Nadu, kerosene is predominantly used for cooking.
It said the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa made several representations for enhancing the PDS SKO allocation to the required quantity 65,140 KL per month immediately. Instead of considering them, the Centre on July 22, 2011 sent a reply that in view of the LPG coverage of 77% in the State of Tamil Nadu, due to the lapse of quota allocated and the higher consumption with respect to the national average, the allocation was reduced.
The petition said, “The reasoning is totally false as the LPG coverage cannot be taken as 77% in the State. The Centre is adopting an attitude of indifference to the legitimate and genuine demands of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, the allotment of kerosene …has been reduced drastically, month after month without any basis or reason.”
On March 20, the Centre informed the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Tamil Nadu, that for the State of Tamil Nadu there would be a reduction in the allotment of kerosene from 39,429 KL to 29,060 KL per month for the quarter April – June, 2013.