Ration dealers submit memorandum to Chief Minister
Plea against decreasing rice, wheat quota`Central policies destroying PDS in State'
KOZHIKODE: The State Committee of All-Kerala Ration Dealers' Association has sought restoration of the scientific system of the public distribution system in the State based on the number of members, in place of the existing practice of supply through card.
In a detailed memorandum presented to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, State working president of the association M.V. Basheer and State organising secretary T. Mohammed Ali said in a consumer State such as Kerala, the public distribution system was of prime relevance. The public relied on PDS for essential commodities such as wheat, rice and kerosene.
The association pointed out that Kerala was perhaps the only State where ration was supplied based on the number of members, on a comprehensive and scientific basis.
However, some policy changes brought about by the Centre since April 2000 which sought to supply essential commodities based on Above Poverty Line (APL) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) had destroyed the very concept of the public distribution system, they said.
They said the decision of the Centre to curtail the allotment of rice and wheat from April 2007 had crippled the PDS.
The association said the Chief Minister should ask the Centre not to decrease the rice quota of 92, 086 metric tonnes due to the State in April 2007.
There is a similar decrease in the allotment of wheat also, due in April 2007.
The State should insist on its legitimate share of grain., they said.
In the case of kerosene there has been a decrease in the allotment by the Centre in the last three years, the ration dealers said.
Also, the reported decision of the Centre to limit the supply of kerosene only to Below Poverty Line cardholders would cause difficulty to cardholders in the other category.
The memorandum demanded supply of levy sugar to all cardholders. Since 2002, this sugar quota is only supplied to BPL cardholders.