Hyderabad, Apr 23 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to restore the 2007-08 allocation of 3.18 lakh tonnes of rice per month for the year 2008-09 in the interest of the poor and to fulfill the government's commitment for food and nutritional security to poor families in the state.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released to the press here, he said the state government was committed to provide rice at Rs 2 per kg to ensure food and nutritional security under the Targetted Public Distribution System to the Below Poverty Line families from the month of April this year.
The requirement of rice for BPL card holders per month was 3.01 lakh tonnes, he said adding the Centre had allotted only 2.73 lakh tonnes per month from April this year to March 2009, as against the allotment of 3.18 lakh tonnes of rice per month from April 2007 to March 2008, the letter added.
The additional quantity of rice required for implementing the subsidized rice scheme for BPL families was being met from the Above Poverty Line (APL) allocation of 1.76 lakh tonnes allotted by the Cental Government. But the Centre has reduced the allocation of APL rice per month from 1.76 lakh tonnes to 1.31 lakh tonnes for the year 2008-09, he pointed out.
''The total allotment of rice to implement subsidized rice scheme is reduced by 44,755 tonnes per month, which will severely hamper the distribution of rice to white card holders,'' he said in the letter.
As against a total allotment of 38.19 lakh tonnes in 2007-08, the lifting had been 34.78 lakh tonnes but the overall allotment for 2008-09 was only 32.82 lakh tonnes. There was a reduced allotment of 5.37 lakh tonnes in 2008-09, as against the annual allotment of 2007-08.
During the procurement year 2007-08, the target of rice for the State was 63 lakh tonnes. It had already achieved 39 lakh tonnes and was confident of achieving the entire target.
The state was willing to revise the procurement target to 68 lakh tonnes provided the Central Government restored the reduced allotment of 5.37 lakh tonnes raw rice to the state under the APL category at APL price during the year 2008-09.
He also sent the copies of his letter to Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
UNI BR ROY PJ AS1422