Low oil food price - a relief for commoner:Deshmukh

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Mumbai, Jul 15 (UNI) To provide succour to the common man, who is struggling to make ends meet due to inflation, the Maharashtra government has decided to provide edible oil and rice at low prices.

An announcement to this effect was made by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh while distributing five kg of rice and one kg of palm oil to the BPL ration cardholders at Jijamata Nagar, Worli in South Central Mumbai today.

The distribution programme was organised by Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, an official release said here.

Mr Deshmukh said the government had made a provision of Rs 500 crore to provide palm oil, rice and pulses at subsidiary rates to fight the rising prices. As a result, the exchequer will have to bear a burden of Rs 70 crore per month.

Presently, rice is given at Rs 12 per kg and the state government is considering to provide it at Rs 9.50 per kg, the Chief Minister said.

He said the government review the scheme after three months to decide whether to continue it or not.

Maharashtra got 20,000 metric tonnes of additional quota of wheat from the Centre, informed State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkare.

The Chief Minister said the quota of subsidised foodgrains, reduced by the Centre, has been increased after sustained efforts by the state government.

Mr Tatkare said the introduction of computerised ration cards will help curb malpractices of foodgrains and kerosene in ration shops.

The process will be completed by December end, he added.

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