Tamil Nadu

Select cardholders in Tamil Nadu to get 5 kg of ‘chana’ free as COVID-19 relief

A PDS outlet in Coimbatore. File   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

Ration cardholders belonging to weaker sections in Tamil Nadu will get 5 kg of ‘chana’ (whole) and the rest 1 kg of ‘tur dal’ free of cost in December as part of COVID-19 relief measures.

The beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), as covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and the priority household (PHH) cards, totalling around one crore cards, will be given 5 kg of ‘chana’. Those who are part of the 97.9 lakh non-priority household (NPHH) cards will receive 1 kg of ‘tur dal’.

The supply of ‘chana’ to the NFSA beneficiaries is being made possible under the Central government’s Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), while the provision of ‘tur dal’ is a State government initiative.

The decision to provide 1 kg of ‘tur dal’ free of cost to NPHH cardholders has been taken to “maintain parity” with the NFSA beneficiaries, according to an order issued by the Food, Cooperation and Consumer Protection Department last week.

The measure will cost the State government around ₹30 crore, according to an official of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation. As the AAY and PHH cardholders will be receiving 5 kg of ‘chana’ free, they will not be able to get 1 kg of ‘tur dal’ this month at the rate of ₹30 a kg. The arrangement has resolved the issue over receiving ‘chana’.

On July 1, CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in a letter to PM Narendra Modi, sought the provision of processed ‘tur dal’ instead of ‘chana’. The rationale behind this was that people of T.N. preferred the former. Later, the CM wrote to Mr. Modi, reiterating this position and requested allocation of ‘tur dal’ or raw ‘tur’. But the reply from then Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was that due to limited availability of raw ‘tur’ under the Central Buffer Stock, the State was requested to accept “milled cleaned whole ‘chana’.” Again, when the State sought the Centre’s approval for distribution of the allotted quantity of 55,540 tonnes of ‘chana’ to all ration cardholders equitably as it did not want to discriminate between cardholders, the Centre said such a move won’t be in conformity with PMGKAY norms. This was why the State decided to supply 1 kg of ‘tur dal’ free to NPHH cardholders.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:03:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/select-cardholders-to-get-5-kg-of-chana-free-as-covid-19-relief/article33217075.ece

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