Naveen demands more rice under PDS

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 15 (UNI) Expressing concern over drastic cut in the allotment of rice to Orissa during the current year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged the Centre to sanction 65,000 MT rice per month to the state.

In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, the Chief Minister said with the sharp increase in prices of the rice in the open market, common people in the state were facing a lot of difficulties.

Hence, there was a necessity to provide rice to the people living above poverty line (APL) under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state, Mr Patnaik said and demanded that Orissa be provided with at least 65,000 MT rice every month.

The Chief Minister said while 57,000 MT of rice per month was supplied to the state during 2006-2007, the quantity was drastically reduced to 5514 MT during 2007-2008.

Mr Patnaik expressed shock that only 858 MT rice so far had been supplied to the state during 2008-2009 which he said was too inadequate to meet the requirement of the APL families.

He further said with several essential commodities witnessing a hike in the prices, the APL families should be provided with rice at the subsidised rate through the PDS since rice was the staple food for the people of the state.

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