Public distribution system to be strengthened-Nitish

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Patna, Mar 28 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today appealed to all the parties to cooperate in strengthening the existing public distribution system (PDS) and admitted it was a big challenge.

In his special reply on the PDS system in the Assembly, Mr Kumar said as per the revised list the number of BPL families in rural areas had risen to 1.13 crore while survey was under way in the urban areas and the number was expected to reach eight lakhs. He said the list had been prepared on the basis of 13 standard points and the total number of the BPL families in the state would be around 1,21,41,000.

He said the Centre was currently providing 2.28 lakh tonne of food grains monthly for only 65.23 lakh BPL families. He said in order to provide 35 kg of foodgrains to each BPL family, the Centre will have to enhance the quota.

Mr Kumar said the state government had decided to provide 25 kg of foodgrains monthly to the BPL families and they came under Antyodaya scheme.To meet the requirement, he said, the government would procure 75,209 tonne of foodgrains from the Food Corporation of India on economy rate.On this the estimated expenditure would be abpout Rs 868 crores anually.

Mr Kumar further said with the present central allocation it was impossible to distribute four litres of kerosene to each BPL family.

He said the state government had requested the Centre to enhance the allocation to meet the requirements.

He said in order to maintain transparency, the state government introduced coupon system. The kerosene oil coupon would be given to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families and the scheme implemented in the urban areas too.

UNI RS PL VD KP1558

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