Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said that the allegations levelled by Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy over the Rs.2-a-kg rice scheme are baseless.
Dr. Isaac told presspersons here on Saturday that the allegation that above-the-poverty-line (APL) ration-card holders would get a mere three kg of rice a month under the scheme was baseless and misleading.
The scheme was nothing new and had been in implementation for the past two years, serving 41 sections of society, including fishermen, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and coir workers. Mr. Chandy would have to only ask any APL or below-the-poverty-line (BPL) family to know the quantity of rice it got under the scheme.
He said that while the BPL cardholders were getting 20 kg a month each, the APL cardholders were given 10 kg. These limits were prescribed by the Union and the State governments. The Left Democratic Front government had increased the budgetary provision for the scheme from Rs.125 crores to Rs.250 crore this year. Since no budgetary limitations were set, this amount could be raised anytime. He demanded that Mr. Chandy apologise to the public for preventing the scheme from reaching all its intended beneficiaries.