Tamil Nadu

T.N. asks Centre to foot bill for community kitchen operations

Key demand: R. Sakkarapani at a meeting of the State Food Ministers in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Key demand: R. Sakkarapani at a meeting of the State Food Ministers in New Delhi on Tuesday.

While the State government and the local bodies could provide land for establishing community kitchens, the Union government could pay for the capital expenditure and the full recurring expenditure on account of grain, transport and salary, Tamil Nadu suggested on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting of the State Food Ministers in New Delhi to discuss the model community kitchens scheme aimed at addressing hunger and malnutrition, Tamil Nadu Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R. Sakkarapani said Tamil Nadu’s experience had been that only the most deserving persons were coming to community kitchens; hence, making it restrictive based on some exclusion criteria might not be required.

“For a vast country like India, any uniform system or one single model may not be desirable. It will be appropriate that the States be given the freedom and flexibility within the broad framework and guidelines to decide on the actual model and functioning of community kitchens,” he said. The community kitchens were useful all times and more so in times of natural disasters or a total lockdown. “Therefore, the scheme may have flexibility in terms of ramping up their number and supplies.”

Pointing out that three meals were being given away in the Greater Chennai Corporation and two meals at other places in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Sakkarapani said, “It is suggested that a minimum of two meals be provided through these kitchens.”

The Tamil Nadu government has been running about 650 community kitchens through the local bodies at a highly subsidised price for the benefit of the poor. At present, the scheme is funded by the State government and the local bodies. “Every year, the State government and the urban local bodies are spending around ₹300 crore on it,” he said.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 9:06:13 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-asks-centre-to-foot-bill-for-community-kitchen-operations/article38008371.ece